International Women’s Day (2017)

Women’s Day should be about women practicing resilience to stave off gender inequality in society

International Women’s Day this year saw a women’s strike pressing governments, organisations to provide women with the opportunity to have a voice, which they have long been deprived of. In New Zealand, the pay gap problem still exists and for the last ten years it has been a staggering 12percent – I think part of the problem lies with the Equal Pay Act, which was passed in 1972 but is still not in practice nationally. This is just one example of the many kind of scenarios, which have been holding women back from progressing towards equal treatment in their particular society.

The origins of Women’s Day lies in New York in 1909, and originally the day was called ‘International Working Women’s Day’. I feel that this moment in time, there is still so much that goes on on a daily basis that need to change: women are often trafficked into sex slavery, forced labour, deliberately not provided with a route to education, denied playing their role in politics and also not allowed to be in control of their own private lives. What particularly baffled me was the gender stereotyping that still continues for certain workforces, in the modern age.

In professions linked to care, for example, which has a very large female workforce there should be no thought prevailing that ‘it is a largely female thing to do’. Women, have for generations been looking after their families, children and their homes, and associated with housework, but the perception that care-related jobs is a natural calling because it is associated with caring is a rather sick point of view. It doesn’t have to have a natural quality nor is it a primarily care-based role – a good example of this would be the early childhood sector which has some stigma surrounding it that caring is all that female workers do and that’s why their job is valueless. Care sector jobs could also have a comfort quality and they should follow the national wage cycle like any other respectable job. Furthermore, care jobs need to have a public perception that they are no different from other workforces, such as those that engineers, journalists and capital markets lawyers make up.

To that note, I want to add: Women’s Day around the world should be about resilience because practicing resilience helps to reach towards your goals in life, whatever they might be. It’s important to fulfill your goals in life because as a woman that is a very satisfying thing to have around. It’s a perfectly respectable thing to do – to work towards your goals in the face of adversity. I have seen a lot of men over the years take decisions which spontaneously made me lose respect for them, in those particular moments, even though I have in the past and continue to admire them, everyday. So, maybe Women’s Day should be looked upon as a celebration of how resilience can bring about the necessary changes required in our society for women. I think that if women are resilient when demanding equal rights, equal pay and equal respect, it should and will bring wonderful results for them everywhere.

Women and Marriages

In the modern age, a marriage does not always have to be a necessity

I have always looked at women and marriages with the hope that most don’t prioritize a marriage in their life too much. I can comprehend that, unlike me, most little girls have always dreamt of that perfect white wedding – for me, a marriage is always at the bottom-end of my very long priority list. But as great as that fairytale wedding sounds, sometimes you also have to think about reality and how it might not always be possible for every woman in the world to meet ‘the one’. In those instances, refraining from a marriage sounds like the best option – in today’s technologically-advanced world, being a single mother is not a difficulty at all as well, if you are one of those women, who also associate a marriage with the prospect of bearing children.

Why is it necessary to even get married? For love? To preserve social customs? I think women need to look at a marriage less as a necessity and more as a social custom that should be followed if one feels ready for it. A hasty bad marriage can very easily bring your spirits down so it would be wiser to avoid it entirely and focus on another set of equally high priorities: like, having a baby. There is nothing shameful about requesting for help to get over a really bad marriage, and there are so many services at a woman’s disposal these days, from counselling to support groups.

A marriage should definitely be given more thought, for a start. I feel that already around the world, so many children in poor countries would avoid getting married if they were offered the chance to: child marriages are rampant in many countries, such as India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Egypt, Iran, Nepal and Thailand, as well as Madagascar and Sierra Leone. Even though it is a human rights violation, and laws exist to stave child marriages off, poverty and gender inequality in a society still makes it very difficult to stop the practice.

When young girls get married, their chances of succeeding in life gets significantly slashed because pregnancy happens to them young which healthwise can be risky if it happens in adolescence; reportedly, for young women, there have also been deaths because of pregnancy and childbirth, during their adolescence. Many women these days admittedly have a child out of wedlock, but because of widespread awareness revolving around the subject of contraception, pregnancy for women in their teenage years is not a major occurrence any longer, unlike in the early nineties. For developing countries, however, the picture is drastically different: apart from child marriages happening, there is also worries about how globalisation is impacting selected Asian countries, such as Indonesia, Thailand and Bangladesh because pregnancy for young women, and the health-risks associated with it, is still an important challenge to educate on.

Why More Young Girls Should Go To School

In many countries around the world, young girls constantly feel prejudice because of their gender, particularly for education. Although, countries such as Bangladesh and Ukraine have been able to majorly improve education attainment (plus, enrollment rates), the picture in every country in the world isn’t this bright: be it Iraq or India, the situations highlighted for a drop in denial to access in education, range from poverty to early child marriage, and many states are failing to push through important change.

There are many reasons why providing easier access to education for young girls should be a priority for governments: equipped with basic education skills, a young woman will be able to command her health needs, protect herself from incidents of domestic violence and gender-based exploitation, and also act as a patron of gender equality.

Women’s rights should always be put first, because without it women will not be able to perform the simplest of tasks, such as even play a part in their local democratic climates. Education helps women to become power figures in the world, and stand at par with men. It also provides women with the opportunity to make key public decisions and policy pushes, which outline providing accessible (and adaptable) education for young girls.

Women need help both at home and at work: education can inform young women on contraception, on why it is a good idea to build smaller families, and simply lead healthier lives. Furthermore, when more girls complete secondary school, the national growth rate also increases but at the moment there is still a gap inbetween the level of education amongst boys and girls.

What are needed are better schools and more girls in secondary schools because already there is a disparity in education attainment rate in the midst of girls who finish primary schools and those girls that finish secondary schools. Improving people’s awareness on why educating women is a novel idea can also start to break down barriers erected in societies, where normally men receive a higher degree of education than women to make them suitable for jobs and an income.

Bangladesh, for example, has made significant strides in the subject of women gaining the necessary education to join the national workforce, but even then, when it comes to dropping out of secondary schools, girls are exposed to a greater amount of risk than boys. There is a national shortage of female teachers in the country, in spite of its positive relationship with school attainment (plus, enrollment) rates for young girls; in Bangladesh, the improvement in the education sector has all been part of a national expansion plan introduced in the nineties, which had increased public spending for education and also created better schools.

The #Britney Moments

The #Britney Moments

 


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The A To Z Of Layering

The A To Z Of Layering

 

Workwear: The 9 to 6 #Grind

Workwear: The 9 to 6 #Grind

 


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