Feminism and the Advocacy of Women’s Rights: Why Are these Relevant Today?
Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.
The term “feminism” was first used in the late 19th century in association with the women’s suffrage movement, and it referred to the belief that women should have the right to vote. In the early 20th century, the term “feminism” was used to refer to the belief that women should have the same rights as men.
The main goal of feminism is to achieve equality for women in all aspects of life. This includes equality in the workplace, in education, in political representation, and personal relationships.
Feminism is not JUST about women’s rights; it is about achieving equality for everyone, regardless of gender. Everyone benefits from feminism because everyone benefits from equality.
So what can you do to support feminism? Read on to find out!
Read: Systemic Gender Discrimination Across the World
Why is It Important to Achieve Gender Equality
It is important to recognize that there is no single definition of gender and that it varies from culture to culture. However, in general, gender refers to the social and cultural roles that are assigned to people based on their sex. These roles can vary greatly from person to person but they should not be viewed as limiting. Unfortunately, in patriarchal societies, men are entitled to have more power, money, and several other privileges than women. The differences in power dynamics between the two genders have kept women away from the decision-making process and have oppressed them in many ways. A society where people experience oppression, violence, and discrimination because of their gender is not sustainable and can not achieve true prosperity. Without equality, there is no justice. Without justice, there is no peace.
We must also acknowledge that gender-based discrimination faced by women is not the same for everybody. This is an intersectional issue. The life experience of a woman depends on her race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, and physical ability. For instance, the experience of oppression faced by a privileged, upper-class, white woman in the USA is not comparable to the oppression and discrimination faced by a differently abled, poor woman from a racially marginalized community.
Unfortunately, many people still believe that there are differences between the genders. But regardless of the differences, we should aim to create a society where everyone feels safe, and everyone has equal access and rights to opportunity.
Read: Patriarchy and Female leadership: A Privilege Not Given
Feminism and the Advocacy of Women’s Rights based on the equality
Throughout history, women have fought for the right to vote, own property, receive an education, and participate in the political process. In recent years, the focus of the women’s rights movement has shifted to issues of healthcare and reproductive rights, economic inequality, sexual harassment, and rape culture.
Advocacy of women’s rights based on the equality of the sexes is a long-standing and important goal. Women’s rights advocates believe that women should have equal rights to men in all areas of private and public life, including education, employment, and political participation. They also believe that women should be treated with respect and dignity and that their unique perspectives should be valued. Read this post, Mind The Gender Gap, for some practical guidance for everybody to promote and advocate for gender equality.
We know that achieving equality for women will require lasting commitment and dedication from everyone involved. It is an essential sustainability goal, not only for the advancement of women but for the advancement of humanity as a whole. Dismantling social and cultural gender-based norms and discrimination needs a lot of effort, awareness, and active participation at every level of society. While we acknowledge the power of activism and advocacy, people from marginalized and underserved backgrounds, lack access and direction to effective activism mechanisms. Thus, in my view, it is our responsibility to make every effort to be the voice of those people who might never get the opportunity to make their own voices heard. Remaining silent makes us complicit; our voice can potentially change many lives.
Read: Domestic Violence Against Women Across The World-Where Are We?
Why Is Feminism Relevant Today?
Despite the progress made, women still face significant barriers to equality. In many countries, women do not have the same legal rights as men and are not treated equally in the workplace. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 by The World Economic Forum, gender parity is not improving. It will take another 132 years to close the present global gender gap. According to this report, the most affected areas are economic and political participation. Women earn less than men in most countries and are more likely to live in poverty. Violence against women is a major problem in all parts of the world; women are neither safe at home nor in public places. And women are still not adequately represented in positions of power and decision-making.
In short, feminism is still so relevant today because the fight for gender equality is far from over. There is still much work to be done to achieve equality for all women, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or social class. A common misconception is feminism is an anti-men movement. Women’s fight for equality and justice is not against men but against the patriarchal society and its norms. These rules and customs have harmful effects on the entire community, not only on women. Hope more and more men realize the importance for them to be a part of this movement. Read our post You Too (#youtoo) for a deeper insight on this.
We must continue to advocate for women’s rights until the day that gender equality is a reality for all. By supporting feminism, you can stand up for an equitable, fairer and more sustainable world. You can play a critical role in creating a more gender-equal world by committing yourself to create awareness of gendered issues and taking action to help them. You can also make a difference by empowering individuals, organizations, and communities to create gender equality.