We’ve come a long way and yet, I feel that our journey as women is just getting started. 100 years ago the first “flappers” were taking over, changing the role of women in society, by acting freely and almost rebellious for those times. Women could vote, they had birth control devices so the emancipation and empowerment began, yet after almost 100 years, we still struggle with so many stereotypes and misconceptions and although the Western civilizations are embracing women as leaders, there are still parts of the world now in 2018 were women can’t vote like Pakistan, Uganda, Kenya, and even the Vatican. It’s not even the fact that the law doesn’t allow it, but things are much worse, as even if women can legally vote in these countries, the bullying, banning of leaving the house, facing religious pressure or pressure from the elderlies make voting very difficult and almost impossible for many women.
But even if they can vote, women around the world are facing with “doubt” – the doubt of “am I good enough?” “Is my opinion right?” “Am I worth it?” Why is that? The first thing that comes in mind is EDUCATION and the patriarchal family system that always puts the man in the center, by offering him the leading role. Just think of all the children’s stories and all the fairy tales where the girl has to be always saved by the prince. She is always kidnapped and always has to await for the prince to come, who faces so many dangers and obstacles.
Then there is this softness and care implied to every little girl – a girl must be delicate as a flower, she can’t swear, she has to be pretty, she has to sit right, can’t have bruises and so on. I am sure that there are many lucky girls out there who had amazing families and strong mothers and smart fathers who haven’t gone through the “pink delicate illness”, but I know even now many amazing women who fear of sleeping alone without their husband or depend on him for many simple house chorus, just because they have been told that “a man can handle this” or “you need a man to look after yourself and to protect you.” Protect from what, it’s not like we live in a cave like our ancestors?
The fight for empowerment is stronger than ever and many women, girls and organizations have started to rise and formed a powerful voice and yet, every hour and every minute girls and women die all over the world – they are used as war weapons in some countries like Congo, they are raped and killed in other African countries and even in USA which is one of the most developed countries in the world – 3 women are killed every day by their partners. The reality is harsh and the education and empowerment has to be made on both sides: girls have to be taught their value and enrich their powers, while boys need to learn respect and care and to value little girls. I know this was done by a school in Africa at some point in a village where the rape rate was very high and by teaching little boys to care about girls and by teaching girls to protect themselves, self-defense and high values, the rape rate was highly reduced in just a couple of years. So it is a proven method and education is key!
Girls need to learn that they are strong too, that they have voice and that they can change the world – they can be leaders, scientists, pilots, artists and mothers too – there are many great examples out there, many amazing women in history and now with the rise of the internet and with all the tools that are available today, girls can become women with vision who can inspire others. It is our duty to do so, I believe and as long as we can make a difference and open a door to a less fortunate little girl out there, then let’s do it! Everything is in our reach, darling! You can do it too!