Global Issues. Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment
No matter how much we evolve as the global community, in the societal development report card, the subject of gender equality and women’s empowerment will be marked with an ‘F.’ The reason; the world has taken this subject lightly always. Men have taken the lead in all spheres of life and the ‘patriarchal’ way of being has been accepted universally. However, the advocates of the subject have been at a peaceful yet powerful civil war internationally for centuries, with the first-wave feminism worldwide beginning in the 1800s. Though they’ve had many mini victories as time has progressed, their efforts seem to be bearing fruit finally. Now, the world is waking up to the seriousness of one the major worldly issues. Let’s see some fine examples of the good work being carried out for a better and brighter future for women.
• The United Nations (UN) Women’s HeForShe campaign, launched in 2014 by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and UN Women Global Goodwill Mabassador Emma Watson, is a stepping-stone in the right direction. It is an initiative aimed at men and boys, to involve them, engage them and make them ‘agents of change.’ It’s an innovative approach to sensitize the ‘dominant’ gender and get them to champion the cause of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Gender Equality means “providing equal power and opportunities for men and women.” While Women’s Empowerment stands for “the fostering of a woman’s sense of self-worth, her decision-making power, her access to opportunities, her power and control over her own life inside and outside the home, and her ability to affect change. “ To back it up strongly, this campaign has been aligned with the four strategic pillars of UN Women’s work – accelerating women’s economic empowerment, supporting women’s role in peace and security, advancing women’s political partnership and leadership, eliminating gender-based violence. The results (overview): o Over two billion impressions and conversations on social media, and counting o Pledged by Head of States like European Commissioners o Supported by Australian Army o Hundreds and thousands of men and boys signing up to take the lead in creating an equal and amicable social environment o To know more abut its wide-spreading impact - http://www.heforshe.org/en
• The International Women Achievers’ Award (IWAA) is another attempt to level the playing field. Organized in the International Women’s month of March, the prestigious award recognizes contributions of women to society and in their work spheres. A positive move to show that women have the power to lead and make a change. To know more about the presentation - http://www.iwaawards.net/home/
• India is doing her bits, too. Female celebrities are coming out with pro- feminist campaigns. Like Kalki Kochlin with her passionate poetry – the printing machine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF0_dGYeSEk&feature=youtu.be) and Deepika Padukone’s take on freedom on expression – my choice (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtPv7IEhWRA&feature=youtu.be). Though these campaigns may have garnered mixed reactions from the media and public due to the male-controlled functioning of Indian society, they’re bold statements of encouragement for women and girls to stand up for themselves and a sign of changing times.
• The Indian government is taking measured steps to turn the tide in the favor of women. With programs like ‘Beti bachoa, beti padhao’ spearheaded by the PM himself, to tackle the so-called taboo of parenting a girl child. They’ve even launched projects at the youth level called Gender Champions, with the objective of inculcating the significance of gender equality through the formative years. For learn more about the inspiring work by the Indian government for women, visit - http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=133957 She can think of everyone’s welfare, for she has the gift of thinking like a mother that men don’t. Let’s give her an equal platform to watch the world transform. Here’s to women power!
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