“Being born female is dangerous to your health,” says Anne Firth Murray, founder of the Global Fund for Women. In too many parts of our world today, this is all too true.
From the list of pitfalls women live through, it’s a wonder that many societies continue to function:
- ‘Son preference’ that leads to the neglect or killing of girl babies in many parts of the world
- Denial of girls’ access to food, healthcare and education
- Sexual violation and abuse, including female genital mutilation, child marriage, sexual slavery, rape in wartime)
- Financial and social disempowerment in marriage
- The perils of unassisted early pregnancy, labour and childbirth
- An unfair division of labour and caring duties, mostly unpaid and unrespected
- Inequality of care and abandonment in ageing
Way back in 1945, the authors of the United Nations Charter acknowledged “the dignity and worth of the human person…the equal rights of men and women.” Women’s rights ARE human rights. Yet everywhere we see women disempowered through a lack of early care, education and choice about their lives.
Emerging from this landscape of desperation, there are signs of hope. Many organisations are working with brave women and communities to tackle inequality at the grassroots. Thanks to these champions and the megaphone of social media, women’s voices are getting louder and multiplying. And they are calling out for their human rights.
The UN has made Gender Equality the fifth of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals from now until 2030. They state that empowering girls and women is vital if the world is to face the huge challenges of poverty, inequality and climate change that face us all.
We are the one generation that can end women’s inequality. Follow and get involved with the best of the activists:
Girls Not Brides – see their Take Action site for top advocacy tools
Let’s work and believe that in our generation, no girl or woman will any longer be a ‘thing’, a sex toy, a breeding machine, a moneymaking commodity. That no girl or woman will be an object of brutality or rape. That no more girl babies will be starved or enslaved, no elderly women abandoned or treated with disrespect.
We have the power to do it! We Make Change is launching the first ever online platform for social change. It will allow users to identify charitable organisations all over the world, and give their time, money or things – in just three taps.
Visit our crowdfunding page to find out more, and share this post on social using the hashtag #WeMakeChange