Let’s Talk Opinion in conversation with Project O
Question 6: If you could share an opinion on a single international incident or topic that you either feel strongly about or that might not be known to the rest of the world what would it be? You have our attention.
“I also don’t like how in some regions of the world women don’t enjoy the same types of freedoms that women in the United States enjoy. However, I realize that we had to work hard to obtain the equality we enjoy today. Because the societies that do not treat women as I would like to see, have been around for centuries, I don’t feel my involvement or opinion will make any difference in their lives.” April
On the subject of women’s rights. I agree with April that whatever rights we have, are the result of years of struggle, and they were gained through political action by women, whether as part of feminist movements or through individual acts.
The truth of the matter is that we have become complaisant about women’s rights in the West.
Yes, we do have equality under the law. We have the vote. We have the right to work alongside men. In some countries, not all, we have a right to make decisions about our own bodies when it comes to the pro life/ pro choice debate.
However, there are also conservative backlashes against women’s rights and those who are working to curtail and limit them, even return women to former voiceless and right-less state.
The economic uncertainty that the global recession has brought about has affected women more than their male counterparts.
There are voices even at the highest levels advocating a return of women to the homestead.
Women are yet to achieve equal pay for doing work equivalent to men. The discrepancy is mindboggling considering that we are now in the 21st century.
Because there are more women than men in part time employment, and because the recession has hit that sector worse, women’s unemployment has soared.
Feminist advances that were supposed to benefit women have also had the opposite effect in some cases when captured and exploited by neoliberal ideology, as argued in this article for example: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/14/feminism-capitalist-handmaiden-neoliberal
The rights we have, were painstakingly gained for us, and there will be those who will try to demolish them. Not perhaps with a big loud bang, but in time, like water: patiently, slowly hollowing out your freedom, one drop at a time.
I said this before, but I think it is worth a repeat. Prepare your mortar, and get ready to patch it back up. It’s a constant back and forth and there is only one way to deal with it: “Constant Vigilance!”
But we cannot do it on our own. We all – women and men – have to stick together and ensure that the advances we have gained will stay here for the future generations. More than that, we need to keep working at transforming theoretical equality into effective gender equality.
Through everyday acts, as well as through broader movements, every small step forward is a plus. So we need not despair and do what we can.
Every downpour starts with one droplet. Be that droplet.
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