As we all know, this decade will be remembered in history for the Arab Spring, the Middle Eastern revolution. At least we all hope we will look back on this time and say it was the catalyst for greater liberty for all. Have you ever thought about what you would like to “revolutionise”? I watch the news and I feel despair for the women of this world – the latest bulletin with stories of pack rape in South Africa, acid attacks in Afghanistan and honour killings in India. On Facebook I’m alerted to gendercide in India and China, the secret sterilisation of women in Uzbekistan and sex trafficking in Eastern Europe. So I want a gender revolution! I want women to be valued and respected in this world. I want all women to feel safe and be able to be the best they can be instead of being restricted by religion, culture and stereotypes.
I believe the feminist revolution of the 60s and 70s has done little to improve the plight of women world-wide. In western countries, women can now get an education (if we can afford it), we can “officially” get a job in a previously male-dominated occupation, we can now walk into “most” pubs and be served. But are we equal? Do we have more freedom? I don’t think so. Instead, we’re expected to be superwoman – juggling work, family and home responsibilities. Very few of us have broken through the glass ceiling. So much for having our cake and eating it too; we don’t even have time to make cakes anymore even if we wanted to! Women are still victims to domestic violence and sexual assault.
A number of recent studies in Australia highlight that little has changed in regards to sexism. Only in May this year, Reverend Father Tony Kerin of the Catholic Church commented that Australian women were “too choosy” when searching for a husband and should lower their standards. Why doesn’t the church tell men to lift their game and step up to the plate? A study by Vic Health in Victoria reveals that one in three Victorians have witnessed sexism in the past 12 months at work, in a sports club or among friends and family. It is obvious that attitudes towards women in Australia have not improved in leaps and bounds. The Manager of Vic Health’s Preventing Violence Against Women Program, Renee Imbesi, says that, “Research shows very strong links between creating a culture of respectful attitudes towards women and preventing violence against women before it occurs.”
Although we may say we’re marginally better off since the 1960s, women in the west, in general, are by far luckier than women in the rest of the world. The five most dangerous countries in the world for women (according to a study by the Thompson Reuters Foundation) are Afghanistan, Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia. In Afghanistan, one in 11 women die during childbirth, 87 per cent are illiterate and forced marriages are high. The UN has named Congo the rape capital of the world. More than 400,000 women are raped in the country each year. In Pakistan, women are victims of honour killings, acid attacks, forced or underage marriages, domestic violence and punishment by stoning or other physical abuse. Female foeticide, infanticide, and human trafficking are the dangers females face in India. India’s Central Bureau of Investigation estimated that in 2009 about 90% of trafficking took place within the country and that there were some 3 million prostitutes, of which about 40 percent were children. While In Somalia the maternal mortality rate is high, rape and female genital mutilation is common and there is limited access to healthcare and economic resources. Thank god I live in Australia and for this blessing I should not sit on my hands and do nothing.
Men and women of the world need to rise up and say “NO” to abuse of women, “NO” to inequality, “NO” to forced marriages, “NO” to rape, “NO” to killing female babies!
We need to put pressure on governments around the world to change the anti-female culture. Women and girls are not commodities to be traded. Girls are not burdens on families. Every child is entitled to an education and this will enable them to support their families.
We are an evolving species and our attitudes need to evolve with time. It is not manly to be waited on hand and foot by a women. It is weak and immature and degrading to both parties. There should be collaboration and respect between the sexes. So I call on all men and women of this world to speak out against violence and discrimination. Bring on a gender revolution ‘cause I want to live in a world where everyone gets to be the best version of themselves!
Image is in the Public Domain
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