Human rights are the rights we are entitled to. But if this right isn’t being given equally to all humans, how do we fix this? Being a woman in this society and living up to its standards is an uphill task. All women have been at the mercy of stereotypes society enforces upon their gender in every aspect of life. It is, therefore, critical that we stand up for women’s equality and rights.
Understanding Gender Equality
A sense of gender equality can be attained when people of all genders can access and thrive in a calm, happy, and supportable environment. This is every human’s fundamental human right. Let’s explore what gender equality entails.
Gender equality is when the outcomes are equal rights, opportunities, and responsibilities for all genders. When there is gender inequality, it impacts people of different ages and backgrounds. Gender equality is the need of the moment. It protects and prevents violence against girls and women and is needed for economic stability. When society values all genders equally, it is healthy and safe. Globally, many women face discrimination based on sex and gender. When women’s equality is not in the picture, instances of sexual and domestic violence, low pay, insufficient healthcare facilities, and less access to education keep rising.
Why Is Women’s Equality Important?
When women enjoy gender equity and equality, they can provide for the health and functioning of their families and communities and improve the prospects for future generations. Though there is evidence of how gender equity can bring necessary change and help face challenges, gender equality still evades women in particular. And yet, despite being deprived of their rights by society, women and girls are raising their voices for themselves and others and demanding equality in many ways.
Any conversation about women’s equality should focus on the following components:
- A woman’s sense of self-worth
- Her right to have and make choices
- Her right to access resources and opportunities
- Her right to have power to control their own life inside and outside their house
- Her ability to create social and economic order
Over the years, women’s rights movements have held major discourses on inequality, conducted campaigns for law changes, and demanded rights and basic respect. There are new movements that are seen socially today. The digital platform is essential in supporting women’s rights.
The international women’s rights movement fought to bring changes for many years. Despite these efforts, women and girls across the globe are still subject to child marriage, forced labor, assault, and discrimination. They are not given access to education and political opportunity. Women’s movements need the support of all genders to be genuinely successful and attain their goals.
How to be an advocate for women’s rights?
Raise your voice
The most important way to advocate for women’s equality and rights is to be vocal. Speak up! Be it with your friends, family, or even in an organization, do what you can to raise your voice for women’s rights and gender equality to the best of your ability. Most importantly, if you see women being mistreated, speak up for them and help them find their voice.
At the root of being an ally is offering support for any movement. Be kind and supportive to yourself and everyone else.
Share the workload
Women still do most of the work at home. Whether cleaning or caring for kids, women put in more emotional, mental, physical, and sometimes even financial labor than men. And most of this often goes undocumented. Shouldering this load leaves women with less time to focus on individual growth and development in personal and professional spheres. Men should step up and take on more household and childcare responsibilities so women get enough time to focus on work, rest, and innovation.
If you are in a position where you can help other women, do it. There are many areas in which women need help in managing a community. You can help by creating small employment opportunities, forming support groups, setting up helplines, educating yourself and your community about women’s rights, etc.
Pass it on
The next generation must have an understanding of gender equality. They must know their rights. Educate upcoming generations about women’s equality, freedoms, and rights.
Know your rights
Yes! You need to know your rights. You can educate yourself by researching, asking experts, or just reading up the old-fashioned way.
If a conversation, a campaign, or a protest is happening to support a cause for women, join in!
You can give to a cause. Your donation – through time, money, support, resources, or more – can change the life of a woman going through a tough time and needing help.
How to Keep Yourself Updated About Women’s Rights
Read. Talk. Listen. Ask questions. Connect with people involved in the struggle. Most importantly, please speak to the women in your circles about their life experiences and all the discrimination they encounter.
Many research studies explain the struggles of feminism, women’s rights, equity, equality, discrimination, etc. If you’re not a reader, listen to podcasts or watch videos or movies on the same.
Art and music are other avenues many creators or curators have used to educate the masses about these complex and dynamic issues.
Today, social media is the most significant tool for encouraging debate and discussion and garnering support. When other women share their experiences online, lend an ear. Listen without judgment and try to understand different perspectives to break free from the conditioning of age-old patriarchal narratives. Engage with social media accounts that are inclusive of feminism and intersectionality.
After you have educated yourself about women’s rights, share your knowledge with friends and family. Spread the information to help them at some point in their lives. We need more and more people to fight for women’s equality. It would help encourage your friends or family members to participate in conversations. You can share posts or videos related to women’s rights and discuss news and issues women face.
Try being a part of events that fight for women’s equality, like campaigns, protests, and rallies on issues like reproductive rights, fairness, social justice, domestic violence, social discrimination, and sexual harassment that women face in the workplace or in their personal lives.
Every woman must enjoy the rights to life, freedom, privacy, security, space, and respect. Every woman needs the space to use her voice and be acknowledged for doing so. More than anything, every woman needs the opportunity to have a safe life free from violence or discrimination. She deserves happiness, peace, support, and encouragement. Do your bit to advocate for these rights and women’s equality.