For most blokes in Australia they reckon the women in their communities get it pretty good, especially when compared to women in other countries.
Well for me, I think that unless a woman has exactly the same access and opportunity in life as a man then that is not good enough anywhere, and Australia is certainly in that list.
Let me start with a simple example of walking down the street…
It is extremely rare that I ever have to face fear walking down the street alone and I can say that I do a lot of walking in a lot of different streets around the world. On the odd occasion that I do get a little nervous it is because I walk past a group of men trying to intimidate me, note that this is never the case walking past a group of women, except for the usual nervousness of attraction 😉
I know in the 15 years and over 80 countries of walking 1000’s of kilometres on streets and roads by myself that this would not have been as easy or with as much freedom or without extra caution had I been a woman.
Remember, I’m only talking about something as simple as walking down the street – not forced marriage, income inequality, under-representation and all the other facets women have to deal with more than men.
The reason I can walk down the street alone easier certainly isn’t because I’m stronger, faster or better at kung-fu that women, the deciding factor is attitude – attitudes of the men I may encounter walking down the road. There is a huge difference in attitude. As a man I’m rarely their prey and largely I’ll be ignored and on the rare occasion I’ll feel threatened which never feels good no matter if you are a man or a woman (and as I said the threat will only ever come from a man or group of men than from women), however if I’m a woman walking down the road the likelihood of feeling threatened or uncomfortable is far greater.
If the deciding factor is attitude, then attitude is something we can change.
For starters if you’re a man and you think there aren’t problems with gender inequality in whatever country you’re in then you have your head stuck up your own male arse.
I don’t want to just imagine a world where any female: our mothers, sisters, nieces, daughters and female friends can live in a world without fear or inequality, I want to act and see it be a reality.
Gender inequality doesn’t have to exist, there are no laws or religions to say that women should be oppressed, in fact there are laws designed so that shouldn’t happen. Fellas what we need to do is make women feel comfortable and live without fear, support people and orgs who do this as their daily job (like HeForShe) and we must be the change to treat women as equals and absolutely not stand for any other males who don’t do the same.
I’m not a woman (despite my gender neutral name) so I can never fully comprehend the gravity of gender inequality or the true situation but I do know I’ve been afforded the gift of more freedom, access and opportunity with less concerns, checks and balances by being born a man, which none of us have a choice in by the way.
We should not be looking so much for sympathy or charity for women but for empathy and justice.
This is why it is important to not only have an International Women’s Day but to celebrate it!
And here are a few ways we might like to celebrate this day:
- You must listen to Emilie Zoey Baker’s powerful poem and purchase it to support women acid victims – https://emiliezoeybaker.bandcamp.com/track/dear-all-the-women-who-ever-existed-over-the-entire-span-of-human-history
- You need to watch this incredible four-part series of YouTube clips on gender equality that came out of India recently – https://youtu.be/8NgvxN9RJSg
- You should absolutely contribute to this fundraising campaign to support Seven Women to share their remarkable story of their work in gender equality and empowerment of women. I was lucky enough to visit them in Nepal last month and see their work first-hand – http://www.pozible.com/project/204045
- Learn, sign and share this great advocacy page from Global Citizen for International Women’s Day and causes – https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/campaign/levelthelaw/
- One of my all-time favourite feel-good clips is thins one from Camfed in Tanzania on empowerment of women – https://youtu.be/6qtChAPYNhQ?list=PL_TLlBfN18Q9GzoJM4jLC3leMtxC7oaiE
- Check out the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and Global Goal number 5 – Gender Equality to learn a lot more on the subject and good calls to action! http://www.globalgoals.org/global-goals/gender-equality/
- Give females an apology from the world, give them a hug and make it better by taking your own Teaspoons of Change for gender equality and encourage others
- Just ask if you want any more as I know PLENTY of amazing women doing amazing things to make the world a better place!