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, let 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!
So I finally have my laptop back to blog with, and why not start with a late Happy International Woman’s Day message? Yesterday was a day of celebrating what woman have accomplished throughout history, and the difference we can truly make united! Many famous figures and feminists took to social media to offer their wishes to this day and also delivered messages celebrating the great change in woman’s freedoms and rights, as well as pushing for that all important gender equality! I’ve noticed that the word ‘feminist’ and the idea of ‘feminism’ has been attacked and mocked by some and almost become a word to be ‘frightened’ of, not only by typical misogynists, but ordinary people! I will admit that there are some feminists who are hypocrites and who impose the idea of gender equality and freedom of expression upon everyone, yet do not follow these beliefs themselves, as well as twisting the idea of feminism to be a form of male dominance.That is NOT feminism.
Not every ‘feminist’, however is there to ‘attack’ anyone, and beyond the wrong attitudes of some people who supposedly identify as feminists, there is a real message and a real focus set for feminists – gender equality. There has always been a dark side for woman in the past, and still is today. Woman haven’t always had the vote, or have been allowed to work. It can’t been denied; woman have been put a step or two behind men a lot in the past. Even today, woman are often forced into marriage against their will, as well as being denied rights that are given to men. True feminism is about gender equality between sexes, for BOTH sexes. There are also many male feminists, as it is not something that is ‘woman’s only’ or intended to be dominated by woman. It is also a step forward for men too – it reminds us that we don’t have to conform to typical stereotypes between the genders and we CAN step outside the traditional boundaries set by society. Why has feminism become such a strong word? Because they are strong minded people. Everyone deserves to be able to make their own self decisions about who they want to be, and what sort of lifestyle they want to lead, providing it doesn’t hurt anyone.
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