Not There Yet

We often hear about gender-based inequality. You have famous people overtly expressing their opinions about it; Emma Watson's commendable UN speech wherein she emphasized that feminism is not about man-hating is one. And then at the recent Oscars, Patricia Arquette passionately called for equal pay in Hollywood. Florence Nightingale, Maya Angelou, and PHL's Teresa Magbanua are some of the precursors of the fight. 

Before we start screaming for injustice, I think that it's highly important that we clearly know what we are fighting for. Often, women are misled into thinking that it's about gender war. It's not. I honestly believe that we need to get our facts straight first. We need to aim ourselves with as much information as we can.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Fourth World Conference in Beijing, the Clinton Foundation partnered recently with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project. It aims to create an awareness about the progress that women have achieved {with regards to the 12 critical areas of concern} and the gaps that needs to be filled. So basically, the project is saying that women have come a long way, but we are not there yet.

I echo the sentiments of Emma Watson. It shouldn't be about hating men; because in reality, both parties have legitimate issues to deal with. I can't discount the existence of misogynists, of course. I had a few experiences with some. But then there are misandrists, too. I had a few experiences with some as well. 

The issues accrete over time, and depending on where one lives, they are protean as well. While some would think that freeing the nipple is a concern, others would rather just focus on female genital mutilation in Africa, the maternal mortality rate in the Philippines due to lack of access to good health services, or the woman in Saudi Arabia who was gang raped and was sentenced to receive 200 lashes by the judge because she went with a guy who's not a relative. 

It's so easy to say that we always have the power to alter our fate, but there are other important factors that come into play like cultural traditions, religious beliefs, fanaticism, etc. The real tragedy for me is when someone accepts their fate as the norm because they believe than nothing, absolutely nothing, can be done about it. 

That's why I like causes like this one. It underscores the ones who need it the most, but whose voices are too weak to be heard. As the saying goes, "there is strength in numbers. The more individuals or organizations that you can rally to your cause, the better." 

I think this goes far beyond than just being a drama queen, right?

Onward and Upward!


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