How You Can #BeBoldForChange
(and fight gender inequality)
8 March 2017 is International Women’s Day Choma, a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women all over the world. Each year has a theme to promote unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action. This year’s theme is “Be bold for change”, encouraging men and women to have the courage to be advocates for change and help end gender inequality.
So how can you be bold for change Choma? Here are a few small ways to contribute every day that could make a huge impact.
Don’t bring other women down
It’s easy to fall into the “I’m not like other girls” trap, where you distance yourself from other women because of the negative stereotypes you think they portray. For example, you might scroll through your timeline and judge the women who dress or pose a certain way. You might say that you prefer to hang out with boys because girls are “too much drama”. You might even call other women names because of the things they choose to do with their lives.
All these are forms of bringing other women down Choma and all they do is reinforce the idea that women are “catty” and competitive. There is no perfect way to be a woman so don’t bring other women down for making choices that are different to yours Choma. All women are different. All women think, act, dress and look different. Celebrate these differences and stick together. Focus on being part of a sisterhood of women who uplift each other instead of being another voice that puts a woman down for expressing her freedom of choice.
Hold men and boys accountable
Women are often blamed for the things that happen to them, such as sexual or physical abuse. That’s because a lot of people think that guys simply can’t control how they act (have you ever heard the saying “boys will be boys”?). One way to fight inequality is to not let these things simply slide Choma. Men and boys should be expected to control their actions as much as women and girls are expected to. It’s time we stopped accepting the “boys will be boys”, “that’s just how men are”, “women provoke men” type of excuses.
Call people out
When people make unfair statements about girls and women (that they wouldn’t make about men and boys), call them out on it Choma. There are a lot of double standards when it comes to the way women are treated versus the way men are treated, meaning that the rules for women are different to men in the same situation. For example, it might be perfectly fine for a guy to be shirtless in pictures, but if a woman shows a bit of cleavage they might call her promiscuous. It might also be okay for a guy to be messy and disorganised, but not okay for a girl. These are just pressures that are placed on women to be something that guys are not expected to be. If something is not fair only for one gender, then it should be questioned.
Pursue your dreams
Don’t think that just because you’re a girl or woman that you’re limited Choma. Whatever it is that you want to do, whether it’s something in Fashion and Design or something in the Medical or Engineering field, chase after it with hard work and determination. Careers are becoming less and less defined as being “for men” or “for women”. It’s perfectly acceptable for guys to become nurses and for women to become scientists. Don’t let what society thinks about gender hold you back from doing what it is you want to do and from being successful at it.
Women have fought long and hard for the right to enjoy certain privileges that men have Choma so it’s important that this freedom of choice is celebrated. When a women has the ability to choose her own path, help her celebrate it instead of judging her for it. And if you are that woman who also has the ability to choose your own path, don’t allow yourself to be limited by what others think you should do just because you’re a woman. Who knows, you might be the next female leader who inspires others to achieve great things.
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