Saturday, March 8, 2014

International Women’s Day: What if…

Icons photo by Max Dashu
Happy International Women’s Day ladies.
What if, for just one day, every single woman on the planet did absolutely nothing?
What if, for just one day, we lay down all our “tools,” just sat down, stretched our legs and watched the world run by men?
I think it would sound and look like Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai with no cars. I think the world would stop!
With a world population of 7 billion on October 31, 2011, according to the United Nations  -- or 3 487 869 males and 3 439 427 037 females according to a 2011 estimate by the worldstat info -- I would love to see that happen.
Despite the number of men and women in the world being roughly equal -- men hold a slight lead with 102 men for 100 women (in 2010, as stated by French National Institute for Demographic Studies) -- women’s equality is still unequal.
International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated today and throughout March, is under the theme Inspiring Change. Equality For Women Is Progress For All is the United Nations’ theme this year.
“Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all,” says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Inspiring Change encourages advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for women's equality and vigilance inspiring positive change.
With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think we have gained true equality. Unfortunately, women are still not paid equally, we still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. A 2013 WHO global study shows that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence.
I have a firm belief that education can win us the future. Cultural, social and political benefits can be translated into society through education. The first step on the long road to equal opportunities and development has to be through education.
It is sad that parts of the human race have not yet learned men and women can be partners. It is sad and repulsive that many men still need to show their superiority through violence and rape.
Women’s rights as human beings are non-negotiable.
Today, on Women’s Day, as I do most days, I thank the women in my life for being who they are, for guiding me and for shining a light on me.
Working at IF Boutique, a ladies’ store, I meet so many women on a daily basis. Every one of them adds something special to my day.
But most of all, thanks go to Maya for being the rock that has sheltered my billowing sand in the difficult times I am going through.
Although my mom Vicky has been gone for 22 years, thanks are always due to her for being the strong, intelligent and outspoken women that she was. She taught me to have a voice but to be tolerant, understanding and without prejudice. Mom had class, insight, wisdom, courage and humor -- in health and in sickness -- until her last hours. Vicky remains my reference for a great woman.
On this special day, I equally give thanks and celebrate the men in my life who have helped and continue to help and support me. I especially thank fellow blogger ArabSaga, who for the past 40 year has walked every step of the way with me and who is now fighting the demon and hell of cancer.
We are preordained to be a team – women and men. There’s no escape.
Let’s walk life hand in hand and celebrate Human's Day, with no need to qualify the gender…
Related International Women’s Day posts:
The women in my life -- March 8, 2011
Dearest Mom… -- 21 March 2011