Fighting for Gender Equality Must Start Early

Fighting for gender equality must start early as gender stereotypes have been directly or indirectly programmed into stories that we are using at schools and in many cultures.

We may recall that when we were kids, we were taught that superheroes were mostly men and that princesses can only find happiness by marrying some “prince charming.” The idea of a woman hero is rarely found across cultures in the world. These boy/girl stereotypes have limited girls enthusiasm to learn and develop believing in their own abilities as all of their male peers are encouraged to dream higher.

Slowly over time, societies, while supporting payroll disparity, have further deepened feelings of superiority/inferiority. For example, “Science is only for men,” will convince girls that growing up to be a scientist is not for them; consequently, this diminishes their opportunity to develop further in this field.

Schools must lead the way to prevent these stereotypes from resuming as they would be guilty of undermining a woman’s right to be who they wish. They will continue to think that “girls will be girls” and are only entitled to certain jobs or responsibilities. We must create a gender-neutral and stereotype-free learning environment where kids are allowed to choose without being judged or frowned upon for being too boyish or girlish.

Written by Colina Tran

http://lettoysbetoys.org.uk/ten-ways-to-challenge-gender-stereotypes-in-the-classroom/

In Search of Mr Right

At the beginning of this month, Chenchen just had her 30th birthday. At 29 years old, blind dating had become her most important activity in life. Like most young women, she was pushed by her parents to marry. Day by day, she got more and more anxious which made her feel the way she does right now.

Even now, besides offline blind dating once or twice a week, she is also socialising online on Wechat or QQ (Chinese social media like Twitter). At first, she was more worried about her appearance but now having a successful career is more vital. “If you date with 10,000 people, there must be one guy who is qualified,” she announced. Hence she decided to date with several strangers for eight minutes at blind date parties.

That’s an epitome in today’s China, women, especially women in cities find it more and more difficult to meet Mr Right. Moreover, pressure from parents, relatives, and society push them to marry. However, as a human, having an independent soul is far more important than having a husband.

Written by Valentina Tu

Is There Enough Time?

“Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.” (1)

While the world has come a long way where gender equality and women’s empowerment are concerned (under the Millennium Development Goals), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.

The UN is aiming for complete equality by 2030, but what steps will be required to make this a reality? Research conducted by the USAID indicated that these are the steps to achieve this goal:

– Providing training for female members of political parties and parliaments and supporting the development of women’s caucuses

– Providing skill-building and leadership training for women civil society members, women’s organisations, and female journalists

– Supporting women’s participation in political and post-conflict transitions

– Improving women’s access to justice and increasing women’s participation and representation in the justice sector

– Supporting local efforts to advocate for legal rights that enable women to participate fully in the political and economic life of their societies

– Building capacity for civil society organisations to advocate for women’s participation in political transitions and governance processes (2)

While some European countries are quite ahead on some of these points, the majority of the planet still has a long, long way to go. As an AIESEC Alumnus, what do you think about this issue? Would you add or remove any steps to the list?

Let’s make a stand and make this world a better world for all of us!

Written by Petra Cvetanovic

(1) http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/

(2) https://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/gender-equality-and-womens-empowerment/addressing-gender-programming/strengthening-womens/

http://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/images/sections/what%20we%20do/leadership/politics-en-675.gif?vs=436?la=en

“Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.”1.png

Asked, “As businesswomen, do you ever suffer in your workplace?” They replied:

Asked, “As businesswomen, do you ever suffer in your workplace?” They replied:

I am a Marketing Manager: I was told I earned my position because of my beautiful face. And, that I should get married as soon as possible. Also, if I wanted to get a promotion, I would have to give up having a baby for three years. Or else, just hand in my resignation and take care of my baby at home. I would hear snide remarks like, “Women drivers are dangerous on the road,” or “Who are you trying to seduce with such a low neckline?”

I am a Financial Manager: I asked my staff to revise a report seven or eight times because I wanted to give them a chance to correct their mistakes. It has no relation to my menstruation cycle or my sexual life.

I am a taxi driver: When customers order my car and see my profile photo, they cancel their orders. Maybe they think it is too dangerous for a woman to be driving?

I am an office worker: Once, a condom dropped out of my handbag. I picked it up immediately, but I can still hear my colleagues saying I’m a promiscuous girl. The truth is that I only have one because of how often I get sexually assaulted. I’m just trying to protect myself.

Despite suffering so much criticism, I have proved to everyone that I can be successful. I hope that all women can live life to the fullest. We all have the right to make our lives amazing!

Written by Valentina Tu

“Freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression” (Nelson Mandela).

Is it possible to be a “real man” without the support of a “real woman?” This lovely lady can be your mother or wife. At any rate, without a female, people cannot come about as all mammals raise their young internally. Since this role is vital, why do we still see inequality between men and women in the 21st century? Where does it come from? Is religion, tradition or lifestyle the cause? This map (1) will help you get the idea.
In progressive societies, there is affirmative action for women. They can retire early and have maternity leave; working less is their right as well. This may be controversial, but I believe this hinders our pursuit of true gender equality. Even so, in the parliaments of some countries, women are significantly underrepresented. Some political parties have limited room for females. They think that women are not capable of “managing their country.” In reality, women have helped create the whole world of nature. Perhaps, that is why we declare “Mother Nature,” and not “Father Nature,” as the overseer of us all.

I would like to end my post with some quotes from influential people: “Gender equality is not just a goal. Gender equality is the basis for reducing poverty, creating sustainable development and building good governance.” (Kofi Annan)

Written by Oguz Yilmazlar

(1) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/mapped-the-best-and-worst-countries-for-gender-equality/

Wives of Guy Men Deserve Gender Equality, too!

In China, there are more than 16 million straight women who unwittingly marry gay men. Among them, over 90% have suffered domestic violence, 38.7% are subjected to physical violence, 15% have suffered serious domestic violence, while 37.6% have suffered emotional abuse.

Li Xianhong, who is an associate professor in China, found that 90 percent of the wives of gay men she had researched had suffered from severe depression, of which 10 percent had tried to commit suicide.

Another serious issue in gay-straight marriages is that the women are at risk of contracting AIDs. One research paper in China showed that fewer than 50 percent of gay husbands affected with HIV would tell their wives or take precautionary measures.

Who should take responsibility for a gay man’s wife’s pain? No legal definition: current Chinese laws have no legal terminology for homosexuals, let alone a legal definition for wives of homosexuals. This has meant that lawyers and judges have had no legal references when discussing cases involving wives of gay men. As a result, although most gay husbands deprive their wives of the right to know about their homosexuality, in divorce courts wives are disadvantaged unlikely to be awarded fair compensation.

We shouldn’t endorse prejudice against homosexuals, BUT we also shouldn’t overlook marriage fraud that causes harm to women, either.

Written by Valentina Tu