I am excited about this movement, not only because I am a woman, but because there are so many of us, men and women , who are part of the awakening. Women are not just beautiful and smart, but our gifts are extremely useful in every area of the world. We have stood up and answered the call to do what is right vs. talking about doing it or worse yet, doing the wrong thing, mainly keeping silent.
The complaints turned into posts that turned into marches. The hashtags went from #MeToo to #TimesUp and #PressForProgress. This new wave of women's rights was born in horrific pain. The sick reality coming on display of sexual harassment at every level. Sexual harassment cases which had been buried/silenced/forgotten for decades in Hollywood, corporations and even families came abruptly in the open. The women who told their stories were many times not viewed as courageous with excitement to have the dialogue, but some were ridicule, told to keep quiet to go higher in their careers. Thankfully, they did not and we have seen the cards fall: coaches molesting little girls who look up to them, producers prostituting film contracts and bosses mis-using employees. No. We have found a new level of confidence internationally, found a voice to pass on to our children and have vowed that it will not happen again. What an awakening!In Meanwhile, in the United States of America, the land of the free and the brave, there has been constant confusion around these issues. We listened as our President, already accused in several sexual harassment lawsuits, discussed the stupidity of women, how they would allow him to do anything to be with him and what all men could do to them. To make matters worse it was characterized as just locker room conversation, as if that made it okay. We watched as his wife, already trying her best to dismiss any advance from him, close to tears, stood as dignified as possible under the report that porn star was paid for a promise of confidentiality. Humiliation for her, no matter the political or economic status, race or age, her gender was center stage. She like many are trapped in a vicious cycle of oppression.
The entrapment may be a lure for better wages, a chance to be in a movie or the trap of being an immigrant facing deportation if you dare speak up, we connected. On all levels saw the lack of health care, reproductive rights, lack of access to higher education, seats on boards. Many of these struggles have become one female dilemma. However, sometimes they are not. Thought the immigration war in the US involves women facing deportation the movement has not necessarily addressed this facet in droves. Neither have I heard the Native American Women voice clear. And transgender women are very rarely mentioned at all in this movement. So I am left to ponder, where will the societal ill have to go before we honestly see each other as women, woman? So, yes, I am afraid, we have have made progress, but we have so far to go. I have only to view the list of International issues discussed at the UN to see how strong this demon is and how much we need each other.
UNESCO found that 31 million girls of primary school age were not in school, and about one out of every four young women in developing countries had never completed their primary school education. That number represents a huge pool of untapped girl power. We find that even in higher educations women may get in the schools but still less power when they graduate. When they get jobs there is not only less compensation for their work, but a glass ceiling and new "glass cliff."
Even in a country as wealthy and developed as the US, women still experience major inequality in the workforce: By some estimates, women earn only $0.77 for every $1 earned by men. Globally, the gender gap is even wider: women earn only one tenth of the world’s income despite working two thirds of the total work hours .
Reproductive Rights/Health for children
225 million women in developing countries have an unmet need for family planning, contributing to 74 million unplanned pregnancies and 36 million abortions every year, according to figures cited by Women Deliver, a women’s advocacy group. Legislation seeks to take away the rights of women to control their bodies and many race and socio-economic status are at the forefront of eugenics.
An estimated 140 million girls will become child brides between 2011 and 2020 . Girls who marry before age 18 are typically denied an education, at risk of complications related to premature childbearing, and more vulnerable to intimate partners. They are many times beaten, burned and sold by their families, including their mothers.
Female Genital Mutilation (or FGM),
Defined by WHO as including “procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons,” is a complex issue with religious and cultural implications for the groups who practice it. That said, the general consensus in the international community is that FGM imposes real health consequences, violates a child’s rights, and promotes inequality between the sexes. Many of those who help to keep the practice are women.
A Criminal enterprise of multi billion dollars, taking sex slavery, financial exploitation, and forced labor. The numbers have seen record highs of over 20.9 million people around the globe. The victims are forced, coerced, abducted and deceived. They are unusually vulnerable and told that they will receive items that they need to live, but never receive them so they remain under the criminal's control. Many times it is happening or you have seen it with your own eyes and it goes undetected. To combat this problem mainly of women and children we need education on the signs, policy and legal changes globally.
We have decided that we are the generation and the time is now. We will press until we live in a world of equality.