All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, … birth or another status.” This was the landmark Declaration, adopted by the General Assembly on 10 December 1948, way back in the history, but have we achieved what we had reaffirmed? This year’s International Women’s Day focuses on the same- Gender equality, The theme for IWD 2020 is #EachforEqual, that means recognizing all of the actions we can take as individuals and challenging the stereotypes, fight prejudice and celebrate women’s achievements. Unfortunately, studies show that we are nowhere close to achieving gender equality.
You may ask, why are we talking about gender equality on this international women’s day? It is because women and girls represent half of the world’s population, also half of its potential. You may argue that women are treated at par and there is no gender discrimination, however, not a single country can truly claim to have achieved gender equality so far. As per UN Women- “It is estimated that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner (not including sexual harassment) at some point in their lives”.
Gender equality is important for economies as well. That is why it is the need of the hour to end discrimination and gender violence of any form and provide equal opportunities in the workplace and at the leadership level as well. Now the question arises, how can we achieve gender equality?
Here are a few ways we can try and achieve gender equality:
Whenever you see the red flags (Violence/child marriage, etc) speak up, raise your voice against it. According to the 2018 report by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime on the killing of women and girls- about 87,000 were killed worldwide in 2017, 58 percent of them were victims of domestic or family violence. So, you see many of the deaths could have been prevented.
Empower women in your family and around you
Talk to them about their rights, provide them the necessary resources so that they are informed· Share household chores· Be fair at work· Provide/fight for equal wages· Talk to women and girls when making decisions, implementing policies or reforms. Their voices need to be heard· Raising aspiration of girls and their parents, providing them the right role models· Empowering mothers because empowered mothers enable their daughters in making the right choices. Remember, equality is not just a word, it is more than that, it is a bright right of every individual, if you agree, bring your hands forward and strike the equality pose, share on social media each for equal, and do not forget to practice equality in your day to day life. Let us bring about a change and make this world a better place. Happy Women’s Day