Happy International Women’s Day! This is incontestably the right moment for women to feel part of the beehive of positive energy that millions of bloggers and social media users are bringing to the cyber space to make Her day a special one!
Because the future of any generation is linked to the right education and the decent life offered to its youth, Gender Across Borders has invited the cyber community to participate in its live blog which discusses the theme ‘Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures’ this year. Be sure to check out our entire list of participants and our Roundup #1, and Roundup #2 for more posts!
Writing for Frontline Justice, Susan thinks empowerment starts by giving girls access to information and knowledge about their rights using digital technology, an experience that some NGOs in Morocco have recently concretised:
For almost two years, we have been working with hundreds of local NGOs and lawyers from across Morocco to develop an online database to track court decisions pertaining to women’s rights.
This incredibly powerful tool will be used to analyze court decisions and provide concrete examples of the best human rights–legal arguments and judicial decisions on behalf of women and their rights. The easily-accessible arguments and decisions will provide a rich resource for lawyers and judges to use to help in cases affecting women.
Because empowering girls starts with preserving their dignity which springs from a sense of security and inviolability, Hkearl at Stop Street Harassment evokes an inspiring campaign by The Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team in Chicago:
With their report in hand, the young women began a successful and well-organized anti-street harassment campaign. For example, they worked with local business owners to let them know men standing outside their stores harassed them and made them feel unsafe. Over 120 business owners agreed to post signs in their windows that said, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T let me tell YOU what it means to ME! Respect my body. Respect my mind. Respect ME. STOP STREET HARASSMENT.” The efforts of YWAT led to fewer men loitering outside businesses, harassing girls and women.
Writing for Population Action International, Suzanne Ehlers voices worries about the shadow of political misogyny in the USA and its impact on one of women’s most basic rights: birth control and abortion:
There are many who are mobilized by the critical and “single-issue” fight that abortion rights represents. There are as many others, if not more, who hesitate to be more visible on the abortion rights battlefront. It is these people who have been changed — dare I say, transformed — by the recent series of fracases.
They have been transformed because the opposition, from conservative lawmakers to tea party pundits to religious hierarchy, has finally uncloaked their true agenda, and it is as I always suspected: A deep-seated misogyny, and fear of women’s advancement and progress.
Shannon at the Feminist Mystique highlights the importance of building resolution and resilience if girls are to begin working on improving their conditions:
We should also support girls more as they pursue their dreams. We should value their education as much as we value the education of boys. Give them all the resources that we as a global society can give them. We should tell girls that they can be anything; that they can change the world. And we should mean it. We should stop telling women that they can’t have it all. I’m the first to admit that it is hard for women, especially mothers, to “have it all.” Worldwide systematic oppression makes it so. But we, as a global community, should be fighting tirelessly to ensure that when little girls grow up, they don’t face the same struggles we face. We should be telling them, and showing them, that if systems suck, you should work to change them. You shouldn’t just resign yourself to life as a second-class citizen.
Find out about more blogs writing about WID here, or by checking GAB regularly!