Happy International Woman’s Day 2017!

As International Women’s comes around this year again, it’s important to remember who we are as woman. Friends, partners, sisters, wives, mothers, but most importantly, an inseparable part of society. We form approximately half of the world’s population and in an ideal world, should have half of the influence on the global agenda too.

Unfortunately, many woman around the world barely have the means to live a decent life, IMG_20170308_144205.jpglet alone be able to have the ability to discuss issues such as higher representation in institutions like parliament and equal pay. Woman’s literacy rates are shockingly low in parts of Asia and Africa, especially in Niger, South Sudan, Guinea, Afghanistan, Mali, Central African Republic and Burkina Fas0, where it remains under 30%. Education is often denied if a family cannot afford the costs or if she is to be married off due to poverty. This cycle must be intervened in as higher literacy and education for woman can drastically solve other issues too, such as escaping poverty with the chances of better job prospects which in turn can lead to a thriving national economy as well as a reduction in poverty which would reduce the chances of human trafficking, early marriages, and a reduction in the amount of children a woman has in her lifetime, especially if she is educated on and given access to contraceptive methods. Her increased participation in  educational activities could on a whole lead to a larger voice of woman in representative institutions as her part in society would be just as fundamental to the fabric of society as that of a man.

Beyond this, there are a whole array of issues which affect woman worldwide from female genital mutilation, gender based violence, forced marriages/honour killings and human trafficking to sexual harassment, the pay gap, body shaming and legal mandates on dress codes. We must also remember the different social, economic and political factors which affect our advancement as different woman which is why I advocate intersectional feminism. There is a long way to go, but with mutual empowerment and respect between the sexes and woman of all kinds, we can.

Happy International Woman’s Day!

Bushra x

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL GOALS CAMPAIGN #SHARE

Our world.

1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.

Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. That’s more than some can spend on things they want, let alone things they need.

Over 130 million woman worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation.

1 in 3 girls in the developing world are married by their 18th birthday. This reduces their chances of completing their education and being able to earn their own income, as well as increasing their chance of experiencing domestic violence, something that affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime

An estimated 1.2m children are trafficked into slavery each year; 80 percent are girls.

40% of Africans over the age of 15, and 50% of women above the age of 25 are illiterate. Woman and far less likely than men in underdeveloped countries to be encouraged into further education.

Today, 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.

It is estimated that approximately 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem, which in many countries can be stigmatized, leaving them prone to facing inequality in the workplace, and not receiving the appropriate treatment and support they require.

Basic infrastructure like roads, information and communication technologies, sanitation, electrical power and water remains scarce in many developing countries

  • About 2.6 billion people in the developing world are facing difficulties in accessing electricity full time.

There were 19.5 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2014 and 51% of refugees were under 18 years old – the highest figure for child refugees in more than a decade.

Currently, there are countless ongoing armed conflicts, especially in Africa and the Midd775x775-global-goals.jpg__775x775_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscalele East, 5 of which have killed more than 10,000 people (mainly civilians) in the past year.

The wealth of the 1% richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion—15x more than the wealth held by the bottom 70 percent.

These statistics shockingly are an understatement as to just how much peace and equality has been unsettled in the past decades. Though, it can be argued that it never really was fully there. Global Goals is the latest UN campaign to restore the peaceful world we’ve never seen in our lifetime and for sustainable developments in vital areas such as infrastructure, poverty, equality and education. The Global Goals broadly cover the problems in this world that must be tackled. Supporting the campaign is for once not about being just a feminist or just an activist, or being affiliated with a certain cast or creed. It’s
about being a human. #TheWorldsLargestLesson focuses on promoting and making these goals heard and known in over 100 countries, through lessons and radio. You would be surprised as to how many people don’t know the universally recognised Human Rights Act. These daunting statistics show that it is more important than ever to push for change. This is our world, and we all are citizens of it, regardless of borders. People are not statistics, and those suffering are just as important as those who aren’t.

Share these goals in your language and make peace and prosperity something we can forsee in a lifetime, not just dream. It’s about time the world was what they preach.

GLOBAL GOALS WEBSITE: http://www.globalgoals.org/

UN WEBSITE: http://www.un.org/en/index.html

Please share! 😀

Peace,

Bushra 😀

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

INSTAGRAM: bushrajalil

SAY NO TO FORCED MARRIAGES!

Marriage, supposedly one of the most happiest times of someones life. A breadth of a new chapter. A new beginning. Though, as we sit quite comfortably with masses of opportunity at our feet and education as we will and dictate, there are 15 million child brides yearly. Almost always, they are forced into marriages which not only robs them of their childhood, but deprives them of their human right of consent.

The majority of forced/child marriages are prevalent across Africa and South Asia and often as a result of the gender ForcedMarriageequality gap common in these cultures which means woman can be seen as more of a burden and more open to sexual harassment for example, and therefore married off early and against her will to prevent anything which can bring ‘shame’ or ruin the ‘honour’ of the family. This deprives them of their chance of education and basically puts them in a dangerous cycle whereby their children (often had early, despite their bodies not being sexually mature) can be put in the same situation – socially unstable, as well as deprived of an education which can put them into poverty. This cycle of being married off young means woman cannot complete or even have an education at all, and therefore fail to find a job which allows them to be economically stable. Far too often, the situation is that due to the marriage being unwanted in most cases, it can end in a few years following issues such as domestic violence, and general differences which makes the marriage incompatible in the first place, and in cases where they are married off to cousins/someone abroad, after gaining citizenship there is an immediate divorce, and the woman usually has to take the blame for it – is there any more of an evil way to dehumanize her and who she is?

I recently watched a documentary regarding British children born to immigrant parents and there have been hundreds and hundreds of girls in the past years who will be tricked and taken abroad to be forced to marry a man of their choice – often to a much older person or a cousin – despite only just hitting the legal age of marriage for the UK. This is typically done for the same reasons as child/teenage marriage, though often these British born woman (or woman of any nationality) are seen as commodities in that moment, and stripped of their right to say no and often threatened and bullied psychologically into accepting. Their passports here are all that is valued usually and again, the marriages typically don’t last often and are more like a easy pathway for the man to become a citizen of the country the girl is resident to. This makes me sick, as it completely devalues the girl as a individual whose citizenship is merely valued – not her. Marriages like this may be to benefit the family economically and socially, again devaluing her and silencing who she wishes to become. This is not to be confused with arranged marriages – still very common, however it gives both parties the right to refuse or accept, and are welcomed by some brides/grooms to be. The point is however, neither party should NEVER feel pressured or forced to accept a marriage that they do not want.

There are laws and minimum ages set in many of the countries that have high rates of child/forced marriage though law enforcement is hard to maintain and therefore thousands of them go ahead with no regards for the law. This is essentially re-enforcing gender equality in the sense that woman are culturally seen as to be kept ‘weakened’, with disregard for their education or future plans and so marriage is seen as the only option to preserve honour and prevent immorality which is deeply exaggerated. This is sparking more in poverty, where families are finding it hard to provide for her. However, no matter how we put it, it demeans them of their right of choice and right to decide their future and must be abandoned. Forced marriages are NEVER ok.

Perhaps with more opportunities for education for woman and increased emphasis on the benefits of extending the age in which they get married, such as better stability for their future children and themselves economically, socially and even culturally if attitudes can change. Because with education, can we not only benefit ourselves, but change and mould the opinions of the future towards this practice, and much, much more….. we can change the world….

CLICK THESE TO LEARN MORE about this, your rights and every human on this planet:

https://www.gov.uk/stop-forced-marriage

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_marriage

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE and SHARE to show support 😀

Twitter: @BushraSpeaks

Bushra xx

EDUCATION IS KEY…

Education. Something that goes down like a bitter pill to most children nowadays. Understandable, as a teen. Pressure to get schoolwork done can really get you stressed and frustrated. School is seen like a major obstacle to many, and as a schoolgirl, I think it’s safe to say that at times it can be exactly that. Especially secondary. Fall-outs, drama, bullying, pressure, insecurities, worrying about flaws, worrying about what people say, what people think and sometimes forgetting weducationhy you’re genuinely in school. Your obliged to go. But it genuinely does have a deeper meaning. It’s not a punishment. All is in your favour.

It hits you at times. Why am I here? What’s the purpose? The privilege of having a free education is something extraordinary. Yet that’s not the case in many countries across the world.

Take Malala Youzafraski, a Pakistani teen shot by the Taliban for fighting for woman’s education rights. FIGHTING FOR A HUMAN RIGHT. Unfortunately, in many cultures around the world, many girls are deprived of an education. Maybe to be married off, in some cases, however many families simply cannot afford education for their children, and when you really think about it, it hits you. It’s sad.

Something practically necessary before you tread onto your hopeful future is ceased.

Though many of us teens don’t see it, we truly have to lose something sometimes to realize what we had.

Children are trapped in warfare, children are dying. Millions dream of having what in reality, not many have when you look at the bigger picture. That’s when you realise how fortunate you are.

Education is key; with it you can change lives. You can make a difference. Being blessed with a free education is honestly such a blessing, and when you truly open your eyes, you realise. Anything you want, anything you envision, anywhere you work, you need those grades.

Recent events have made me realise – one of the biggest shocks can be, no matter how much you dislike school, when you’re told you can no longer be in school. Imagine. Having something so vital taken in a flash. It can be extremely common in third world countries, when it can no longer be afforded. We take so much for granted. Granted opportunities and advantages which can genuinely be taken by the same ones who granted it to you. We don’t have complete control over our destiny. It’s like a cycle – we offer our skills, and hope they get us somewhere. Now think. Without those skills, what happens? Even with the best of the best you can’t guarantee the very best, but with hard work and determination you can make sure that you damn well put yourself at the top of the list. And get seen.

Society has such a distorted vision of what’s considered ‘cool’ and ‘acceptable’. It’s usually the latest of everything. The world can be pretty harsh. If you don’t accept a certain criteria, or match standards, you can be easily singled out. But in reality – what will get you where you want? Because I assure you it won’t be the top trends.

There are some people who prefer to waste their education by mucking about in class, and commonly, bullying others. I am for everyone having an education, and I don’t mean to be harsh, but sometimes I just wish that those who genuinely do not give a toss about their future could just hand their education over to someone who really needs it. Who cares. But that won’t happen. Which is why teachers are constantly reaching out to students to MAKE THE MOST.

The world is on the brink of corruption. You can sense the symptoms. Some use their hard earned skills and university degrees on something. Others? Given the front screen view of children dying for what they had.

Bushra xx

PS – I honestly don’t mean to sound too harsh – due to personal circumstances it just frustrated me that people were being so ignorant, that I just wanted to let my feelings out and the best way is my blog 😛 I hope to write more about this topic soon and give my opinion on current world affairs soon! x