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

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THE HYPOCRISY IN TRUMP’S DIVISIVE POLICIES – TORTURE, MEXICAN WALL, MUSLIM BAN!

I’ll be honest – for a split second I assumed Trump was probably being outrageously outspoken for the cameras and would probably realise that if elected President, he has to be a bit more diplomatic and wary of his approach. Especially in this age of fear.

Well, I can now confirm that I am not even American and feel the weight of his dangerous tactics, especially after Theresa’s May refusal to say if she condemns his stances on refugees, torture and democratic values on behalf of the British people.As Jeremy Corbyn recently tweeted, that clearly indicates that you have taken the side of the oppressor by refusing to condemn.

Some of Trump’s recent moves:

His reaction to the woman’s march and the media’s coverage of his donald-trump-grow-upInauguration’s crowd sizes: Trump needs to seriousely get over the crowd sizes dispute and accept that the protests and marches were far bigger than it. It’s worrying that a President has so much energy to put into the crowds than to listen to the legitimate concerns of many of the woman protesting in regards to woman’s reproductive rights, minority rights, disability rights and other vulnerable groups who have been demonised by Trump’s divisive election campaign and are yet to receive any reassurance that their rights will be guaranteed. Rather, Trump went straight to Twitter to slam the purpose of the march, stating that they should’ve voted and even signed an executive order soon after banning federal funding to international NGOs which can provide SAFE abortions, rather than resorting to dangerous means. I wonder what the desperation will now do to these woman.

His belief that torture such as WATERBOARDING should be permitted: This is quite clearly an ABSOLUTE violation of the human rights stated within the Geneva Conventions.  Trump states he will stick by his advisers who claim it works. It’s disgusting that the leader of the once free world cannot see through this practise and it’s implications. Firstly, it leads to the possibility of false allegations admitted to out of desperation which completely contradicts a fair trial, as seen multiple times in Guantanamo Bay. Also, what example will America set to the world by presenting the ludicrous idea that the use of torture, a barbaric practice, is permissible? It would be a slap to the US constitution at best.

The assumption that Mexico will pay for a wall on the Southern Border: If any nation, America must know the dangers of mistreating your neighbours. The Mexican President has made it clear,  that he will not pay for this wall and so Trump has no choice but to tax them for it, especially after making it clear to Mexico that the intended meeting between them should not happen if the payment of the wall cannot be agreed to. And therefore, the Mexican President cancelled it. It will therefore cost the American taxpayer billions. And increase food prices for Mexican imported goods. Oh, but screw federal funding of woman’s reproductive rights, or the medical care for those struggling to afford it.

AND MOST OUTRAGEOUSLY, Trump has executed an executive order for a total ban on citizens from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somali, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. I’m absolutely speechless. This is a clear manipulation of many American’s desire to control immigration sensibly and a clear attempt to appease those who like to pretend that this divisive policy will somehow protect them. Funnily enough, most of the banned nations have/have had direct American interference such as the bombing of Syria, Iraq and Libya which has ironically created the very many refugees which Trump now refuses any form of interaction with.

Secondly, this ‘ban’ appears to exclude the more prosperous Muslim nations which Trump has business dealings with AND includes the famous Saudi Arabia, where many terrorists have been bred including the majority of those who committed the 9/11 atrocities. The fact that Trump has appeared to pick on mainly third world countries plus Iran (who the US maintains no diplomatic ties to anyway) proves that this is an attempt to satisfy the ego of those who want to scapegoat the reality of where the true threat of terrorism lies. Because that’d hurt Trump’s wallet, you see.

It has also just been announced that this ban applies to those of dual nationality from those countries which is the sickening considering MANY American citizens hold dual nationality from such countries. What sort of message is this sending to Muslim-Americans? That they are not welcome? Because that sure reminds me of a time in history. It’s deeply disturbing that vulnerable people such as refugees, exiled citizens and people in fear of their life for defying the country with LEGITIMATE VISAS have simply been turned away. IT IS AN OUTRAGE and a MASS VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL LAW. It is also a clear stereotype against the potential of citizens of those countries. Trump is deterring and preventing intellectuals, inspirations and those in search of the American dream from making their mark. ALL cases should be made on an individual basis, with vetting towards ALL, not a specific group of people. These are people, not a political bargaining tool!

Bushra

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TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

My Response to the BURKINI BAN!

Many innocent civilians in Europe and beyond have lost their lives tragically to the rising trend of extremism in the name of my faith. Time and time again, some of these terrorists have been let off the radar and given free reign to carry out their twisted agenda. And burkini-blur.jpgFrance’s response? Ban the burkini. Well, anything that doesn’t respect ‘good customs and secularism’, which is clearly open to interpretation, as seen recently with woman who are simply wearing a headscarf with leggings and a top FINED, something I’d wear myself – not because I’m being forced or ‘oppressed’, but because I simply don’t feel comfortable to show my body on the beach – why is that such a problem? Is it really necessary for the state to dictate one’s choice of clothing at a beach, or an armed male police officer to ask a woman to reduce her clothing at a beach? I find it hard to believe that they are in any way ‘threatening’, but rather an easy way to cause misconception, as if there isn’t enough already.

Argument one: They are extreme, and can be used to conceal weapons by terrorists.

Well first of all, good luck finding a terrorist wearing what is pretty much a wet suit, when they are in fact ALSO shamed by extremist organisations as inappropriate, let alone even being okay with woman on a beach. Also, it’s ironic that they were designed to allow Muslim woman, or in fact any woman who chooses not to wear a bikini on the beach more freedom to swim/play/chill on the beach without feeling uncomfortable. If terrorists want to harm others, then a burkini ban will not stop them and not only will rather empower their already twisted motives but needlessly deter and isolate perfectly moderate woman the chance to use the beaches. Politics has already poisoned faith, why is it being bought to beaches as well?

Argument two: “It is the expression of a political project, a counter-society, based notably on the enslavement of women.”, according to Manuel Valls, the French PM.

So exposing your body, according to the PM is the ONLY way to not be enslaved?  If the problem is with the burkini, which is merely a choice of swimwear, just like the bikini, then why are woman in full clothing also being fined? What is clearly misunderstood is the idea that the burkini is oppressive when it is actually revolutionary, as for the first time, practicing Muslim woman can have the same sense of freedom and enjoyment on the beach. If anything, it is the very opposite of enslavement. It is certainly far more daring than the restrictions on woman’s swimwear enforced by police not too long ago in Europe. It is also banned and frowned upon in many Muslim societies, such as in Iran. Why? Because it is seen as too REVEALING!

Argument three: ‘It is our laws which should be respected as I couldn’t wear this in (insert conservative Muslim society here)’

This argument always makes me cringe the most. First of all, yes, in many conservative societies you won’t really attract foreigners in the first place, but in top tourist destinations you are generally free to wear a bikini on the beach. But secondly, often those countries have very conservative cultural norms and human rights issues, and don’t often boast: Freedom, equality and fraternity. And most importantly, the woman wearing these on French soil are fully French citizens that may happen to be Muslim so why associate them with countries they have no association with?  A country claiming to be based on secular principles and freedom should surely disassociate from societies of such? If not, then what difference is there in obligatory clothing in Iran (the wearing of the headscarf) and the removal of clothing in France?

Once again, we have huge issues in the world, particularly with the rise of global terrorism and mass violation of human rights…. and law enforcement are being wasted to tell a woman she cannot cover her body on the beach.

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Bushra x

Twitter: @BushraSpeaks

Email: bushrajalilofficial@hotmail.co.uk

 

International Womans’ Day!

international womans 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 FEMINISMbecome 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.

Peace ❤

Bushra xx

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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