Friday, March 08, 2013

International Women's Day [thoughts]

There are those out in the world who believe we don't need feminism or a day focusing on women, I say we do need it. The world isn't balanced yet. There are women out there who don't have the right to their bodies, their sexuality, their childhood, to work, to education, to drive cars, to talk among men... when they do have all those things and more we have come a long way to equality on this planet.

Women do 66% of the world's work but own 1% of the world's land and receive only 11% of the world's income. Girls represent nearly 60% of the children not in school. [source]

Even if western countries have come a long way we're not there yet either. The day when both parents are home equally much with their child, when men and women get paid equally for the same job and when women don't have to be afraid of abuse in any form or rape either by someone they know or when going home late at night THEN we can say we have equality in the western world. When all women all over the world have come that far then we can say we have close to equality everywhere.

The suffragettes fought for the right to be a voice, to be able to vote and matter. We need to continue their quest, not be content because we're having trouble seeing the structures of our society that influence the choices, restrictions and behaviours for both men and women.  To say that we don't need feminism anymore because we've already fixed the problem is to not see the reality.

Today we have certain expectations on us depending on our gender. I say let men and women be however they want, see the individual. Let men wear skirts if they want, let women be hairy... Let everyone be themselves not what they have between their legs. Let boys play with Barbie and wear pink, let girls wear Spider man and play with cars. This is a step toward equality.

We need to start seeing the structures in our own society and work on them. We need to help those women who cannot fight for themselves. We will all, both men and women, have it better when men and women are equal.

I believe two of the first steps to make the world more fair is to make female rights a priority on UN's agenda and to make sure all girls in the world gets a proper education.

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Did you know? On 19th of November is the International Men's Day.

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