I share this for one reason: I came across some comments, not in my blog, of men in particular, questioning the need for gender equality campaigns. I was disturbed.
I’m not going to justify it in my own words. The best way to respond to this is to present the facts. I am grateful I found this article, a message from Annie Lennox.
Lastly, please be cautious when you say these issues do not affect the women you know. We have victims of rape and violence who would rather keep it in the dark in disbelief and shame that it happened to them, and these women are among us. They can be people we know. They can be our friends. And this expectation that these horrific things happen only in another country, another culture, makes it harder for these girls to speak out. A little sensitivity.
“So you think there’s no need in 2015 for feminism or to campaign for equal rights for women? Then please take a moment to consider the following facts:
• Women account for two-thirds of all working hours and produce half the world’s food, but earn only 10% of global income and own 1% of property.
• Though women make up half the global population, they represent 70% of the world’s poor.
• Women and girls aged 15–44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than they are war, cancer, malaria and traffic accidents.
• At least one in three women around the world have been beaten, coerced into sex or abused in their lifetime.
• Between 1.5 million and 3 million girls and women die each year because of gender-based violence.
• Between 700,000 and 4 million girls and women are sold into prostitution each year.
• 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries, with women dying of pregnancy-related causes at the rate of one a minute.
• Women account for nearly two-thirds of the world’s 780 million people who cannot read.
• 41 million girls worldwide are still denied a primary education.
• Globally, only one in five parliamentarians are women.”
“While I feel encouraged by this rising interest in the usage of the word feminism, I also realise that talk is cheap. It can be divisive and polarising, diverting us from the real issues at hand. Action is what is required, whether it be educational, societal, political or personal. We need to become the change we want to see, by participation and action. Everyone can take responsibility and have a part to play when it comes to emancipation, empowerment and transformation.”
Read full article published on The Guardian here.