“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights” Gloria Steinem
Today (March 8th) is International Women’s Day where people around the world celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. (Source: International Women’s Day website).
Emma Watson was named a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador earlier this year, and is working with the HeForShe campaign which aims to enable men to identify with the issues of gender equality and to recognize the crucial role that they can play to end the global persisting inequality faced by women and girls, both in their own lives, and at more structural levels in their communities. Through sensitization, HeForShe challenges men to address gender equality as a human right, and as a social and economic imperative, the achievement of which will benefit both men and women. (Source: HeForShe website).
In a speech in front of the UN, Ms. Watson speaks about how a feminist is often associated with a man-hating woman which is not a fair description of what feminism is really about. I wonder how this word and what it represents started to have a negative connotation to it!
The definition of feminism is:
1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2: organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests (Source: Merriam Webster.com).
Emma Watson also speaks about gender inequality where men aren’t allowed to be full version of themselves due to societal expectations of what a real man does and says. Emma became involved in the HeForShe campaign because she wants to help make global changes and asked herself “If not you, who? If not now, when”?
Image courtesy of Heifer.org.
Some gender equality facts include:
~ Worldwide, almost 1/3 of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced some form of violence by an intimate partner.
~ Women and girls account for 3/4 of all trafficking victims.
~ Globally, women and girls continue to lack access to essential health services and information. In low- and middle income countries, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death among girls aged 15-19.
~ Girls and women represent 2/3 of the world’s illiterate population. Although more girls are attending primary school than ever before, gaps persist between girls’ and boys’ attendance in many regions.
~ On average, women in paid work earn 10 – 30% less than men for the same tasks.
~ Throughout the world, women are less likely to hold leadership positions in companies and businesses. In the United States, women are just 4.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs and hold only 16.9% of Fortune 500 board seats.
~ Globally, women devote 1 to 3 more hours a day to housework than men and dedicate 2 to 10 times the amount of time a day to care work compared to men, nurturing children, elderly, and the sick. (Source: HeForShe website).
So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.
How You Can Help:
We ask that you share this post and use the hashtag #HeForShe to help get the word out about this campaign ask the men and women in your life to support this movement by stopping by the International Women’s Day website and HeForShe website for more information about how you can help at the local, national and global level.
As always, thank you for helping spread seeds of kindness out into the world lovely dandelion moms! Women helping women is a beautiful way to live and be in the world!