“Women’s status in society has become the standard by which humanity’s progress toward civility and peace can be measured” – Mahnaz Afkhami
Rights are something women have always fought for.
Fighting for the the right to vote. Fighting for the right to own property. Fighting for the right to be politically represented. Fighting for employment and fair wages. Fighting. Fighting. Fighting…
There is another way.
What survived as a cultural norm began to hold women back. Girls were raised at home, kept at home, moved to another house to make a home, and that was it. Of course it was glamorised and made to look like it was the ultimate dream. It was not enough.
Not for the dreamers. Not for the ones who looked ahead and wanted to find out what lies beyond the horizon. Not for ones who worked towards a better future for themselves and the people around them. No, it was not enough for the women who truly believed they could change the world (not just their world) for the better. The Glass Ceiling is slowly losing its meaning. Women are finally able to realize their own worth in the shaping of society, and pursue their goals.
“Give a man a fish, and you have fed him once. Teach him how to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime.” is a well known Chinese axiom, but they haven’t quite thought beyond themselves. Teach a woman to fish, and she will feed the whole village is more or less on point. The moment we invest in our girls, encourage their independence, is the moment when more than just one person will benefit from her prosperity.
Women come in many emotional ranges, faiths, areas of strength, and roles. The suppressed, oppressed, angry, tired, supported, calm, strict, loving, intuitive. The Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, atheist. The doctor, teacher, CEO, sportswoman, writer, mother, sister, human.
See how it simplified at the end?
Women are human beings before they are anything else, and so have the rights and access to healthcare, legal systems, bodily integrity,speech and expression without the bias towards men (also human). SDG 5 focuses on gender equality encompassing the rights, reasons, and targets set for women’s empowerment. The targets include speaking out against discrimination, abuse and violence, wholeheartedly encouraging the completion of school, and supporting women and girls to make their own decisions about their bodies, lives, and leadership:
Educated women of course understand what their rights are. That battle is being won everyday as girls go on to study, work, and achieve their goals which will always be used to benefit others just as much as it did to them. The focus is now on rural areas, certainly more orthodox and rigid in their mindset, to achieve access to better sanitation, education, healthcare, a greener environment, and let go of their illusion of control.
Yes, I said it. Unreasonable control on women is controlling an entire population’s prosperity.
The possibilities are unlimited. The potential is untapped. The power and influence on the future generations is unimaginable. The outcomes are in our hands: http://www.globalgoals.org/global-goals/gender-equality/
Sure, the initial source of empowerment comes from others; but the will to be self-empowered is rare. Ladies (and gentlemen, if you’re reading this), the new path to empowerment is here in the form of Global Goal #5. It leads to not just yours or my own empowerment, but for those in our families, workplaces, communities, and cities.
The change begins with you.
Go on. Empower yourselves.
The choice is yours.