We are a Long Way from Gender Equality
Reflecting back over the last 365 days, our world has seen extremely strong, empowering and impactful movements lead by women seeking justice for gender equality. A few honourable mentions would include the #METOO movement, #DressLikeAWoman , and #WomensMarch although it is important to note there has been many more incredible moments than those previously mentioned.
On a personal note...
It is important to reflect upon our impact on our world and the lives around us. How do I fit in with society around me? Historically developed (although currently relevant), people of white skin tone used the fairness of their complexion as a means of higher status which is still a huge issue today. The same thing goes for people of the "male gender/sex" (gender vs sex is a whole other topic we can get into another time)... and these two important factors have greatly impacted the world around us.
Speaking from a Caucasian, Canadian Woman perspective I know I am extremely privileged to be born into the life I have. This means it is in my social responsibility to use my "social status" to help fight the injustices that so many still face today. Ofcourse, there are still some battles I face because I am a female, however these are absolutely minute compared to the many challenges faced by women seeking refuge from desolate environments.
Commission on the Status of Woman (CSW)
I returned from the United Nations Headquarters about two weeks ago, where I attended the Commission on the Status of Women. The theme was looking at the precarious difficulties women and girls face in rural areas, and as a Registered Nurse by profession, this could not be more obvious to me. The challenges that women face around the world may look differently in the way that the problems are communicated (for example, in Uganda, women often do not have any land rights and often decreased human rights if their husband passes away; in Canada rural women may struggle with access to clean water - MANY are unaware of this- or lack of sustainable economic opportunities which are linked to decreased education and resulting in a cycle of male dominance)... but there are solutions that exist and are being exercised currently, however not without meeting challenges. I was fortunate enough to meet incredible women doing incredible things around the world, and this inspiration will stay with me forever.
A Word from the Secretary General
The Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres held a town hall in the ECOSOC Chamber while I was attending CSW. Something he said really resonated with me. He came into his position in an interesting time where he won against other female candidates- and you can see that this might raise concerns considering current world affairs. Antonio said that part of his platform, and part of his life is that he has always had a feministic agenda. He has made these words actionable in three "pillars":
1. Making more than half of the United Nations higher senior board executives woman
2. Increase female representation in the positions that serve under the board executives and in the high commissions
3. Eradicate all sexual exploitation that occurs within the United Nations Organization as well as in the fields where even UN Peacekeepers have taken advantage of women who are facing desperate situations
"If you are not at the table you are on the menu..."
Thousands of women's voices went unheard at the 62nd United Nations Commission on the Status of Women this year due to visa denial. Visa's were denied for various reasons, one of which has really stayed with me. Women (particularly those in African countries) were denied visas if they had no children, and even less likely if they were single (did not have a husband).
What are you doing today to make sure our daughters of tomorrow have a bright and just future?
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