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Empowering Women Internationally

OLIVIA EDIC, COPYEDITOR

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Note: this article will be part of a series looking at feminism from different levels within Pentucket and within the world.

In a small town where gender related issues are not always life-or-death, it can be easier for one to neglect the importance of feminism on a global scale. As defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” In some countries, women are fighting for equal pay. In others, women are fighting for their lives.

Feminism matters because Nigerian women believe that “even as a rape victim, you’re better off shutting up.” It matters because eight of 10 Nigerian women have experienced some form of molestation before the age of 15. It matters because Iranian women are arrested, fined, and put in jail for not wearing hijabs and because Palestinian women are afraid to share their stories of sexual harassment, even anonymously. It matters because women subconsciously allow themselves to be degraded and demeaned. Feminism matters because as of 2016, 200 million women in 30 countries have undergone female genital mutilation.

Movements to Know About

  • #MeToo: Founded by activist Tarana Burke over 10 years ago and is currently used to unite women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted.
  • Time’s Up: Founded by women in the entertainment industry to combat sexism in Hollywood.
  • #NotYourHabibti (#NotYourSweetheart): Founded by Yasmeen Mjalli to shed light on women’s stories of sexual harassment in Palestine.
  • The Girl From Revolution Street: Vida Movahed publicly removed her headscarf and waved it on a stick, inspiring other Iraqi women to combat the mandate that women must be covered in public.

 

What can be done locally to push for gender equality worldwide?

 

According to the UK organization Womankind, ways to end violence against females include:

  • “challenge attitudes, norms and behaviours
  • include men and women
  • empower women and girls
  • promote self-led change
  • make a long-term commitment to communities
  • gain support of traditional and religious leadership
  • increases awareness and understanding of the issue among government officials
  • supports women’s access to comprehensive services.”

 

For more information and enlightenment…

Pursuing the fight for gender equality:  https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/mar/14/gender-equality-women-girls-rights-education-empowerment-politics

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