Gender Equality And State Of The Woman: The 2030 UN Agenda
The ‘state of women’ is today a paradox of sorts where the good and the ugly compete on equal scale. While we protest physical violence against the girl child and women on the other hand the women complacently encourage other forms of violence against them. Physical violence is abominable, it is barbaric and just unacceptable to humanity and civilization. The Islamic religion I know for sure abhors violence and has placed women in a special stead in society. Women are equal to men in intellect and mental ability, while agreeably our physical ability differs. But women still face huge problems in every society worldwide.
For a long time women have been both psychologically and to a large extent physically enslaved and abused. Back in earlier centuries women and girls were simply appendages of men with little rights to speak of, and as society progressed civilization took different turns at the state of women and girls breeding different attitudes and perceptions. It is these attitudes and perceptions that actually shape our world as girls then as women. No matter what happens today and what we feel as women the underlying point is that women and girls are still very much the downtrodden but the women are not entirely blameless, the evolution of society over time have conditioned the mind of the woman to accept the abuse. And this is not about physical abuse or violence that is easily seen but psychological, mental violence that leave scars that are a whole lot more difficult to erase. Those kinds of scars that live with the victim forever.
According to the UN Women, the Step it Up initiative asks all governments to make national commitments that will close the gender equality gap- from laws and policies to national action plans and adequate investment that would scale up programs towards attainment of 2030 Agenda. The 2030 Agenda has among its targets the need to ensure that all girls (and boys) have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education in preparation for primary education; end all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere; eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking, sexual and other types of exploitation. The targets also call for the elimination of all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
Laudable targets all right but from where I stand those who came up with these targets forgot that one very important target for attaining gender equality. Surely there should be a target that calls on women to put back their clothes on. All through the history of humanity women have been seen and treated as objects of sex and sexuality and the tragedy of it is that they willfully act it up. The world’s most famous designers…….. Yves saint Laurent, Ralph Laurent, Versace, Valentino, Channel et al have been men and these men while putting the clothes on the men “forget” to put any on the women. Men’s dinner wears consist of full regalia that covers them from neck to toe and this has not changed in centuries, while that of the women get scantier and scantier to point of total nudity. Sure some argue that men have nothing to flaunt but I argue that if we must go back to Stone Age and beastliness then I suggest that we all take that leap at the same time from the same level. This is what will make gender equality really meaningful. And this is a form of abuse beyond the physical. The woman’s second name is “mysterious” and that is what sets her apart from the men and the “Cait Jenners” of this world. Women need to fight back and force society to respect them, by asserting the fact that beyond being objects of “ beauty and sex” they are the epitome of morality and the pillars of society. That women deserve more from themselves and society is not in contest what is in contest is whether women are or want to confront what they have been groomed to accept for centuries. And to do this we must begin to re-examine our values and our role as mothers, wives, daughters, leaders and builders of society.
Back to gender equality; we must all admit that the woman is the backbone and foundation of the family unit and therefore society as a whole. But it is the woman who is under educated or not educated at all, it is the girl who has to drop out of school in order to ensure her brother gets an education to better his life and the life of his wife and children. In times of economic down turns the women and girls are the sacrificial lambs that must work to keep the family together. The almighty creator did not discriminate against the girl or woman in mental endowment instead went a step further and expanded her capability and capacity and this is how that is. The wife/mother is the only one who has the capacity to bear children for progeny and thereby ensure that the human race does not go extinct. In the course of ensuring that the world remains in existence the wife/mother works at least 18 hours out of 24 unpaid for hours.
When the beast in men is released and its demons unleashed on society women become prey to so called military forces and peacekeepers. At the end of it all that is if it ever ends a generation of unaccountable multitude of children are produced not from mutually consenting relationships but from unpalatable, undesirable interactions like rape and sexual abuses, children who in addition to physical abuse have been exposed to hunger, malnutrition, psychological abuse are unleashed on to that society; these children of an assortment of incompatible genes are left to the care of their abused mothers majority of who are at the mercy of same society and God help them if they ever become whole again.
Conflicts will always happen but extreme and violent conflicts that have come to characterize Africa and the rest of the developing world will not go away unless the injustice that play out in these countries are addressed. The first step to ensuring that is to eradicate and eliminate poverty. In order to eliminate or eradicate poverty women must be the focal point of discuss. Women must be made the agents of change. Because women are the agency for economic and social transformation. This entails empowering women, when women are adequately empowered the society is the better for it. Empowering women means ensuring their access to education, access to equal economic opportunities and beyond rhetoric, to social infrastructure like health and power facilities. It is of absolute necessity that conditions that enhance the woman’s well being must be provided and tended. In situations where women and girls exist in abject poverty society will linger longer in under development.
The 2030 Agenda is an ambitious agenda that calls for an end to poverty by year 2030, promotion of shared economic prosperity, social development and environmental protection. Who better than the woman to protect the environment? Any campaign to protect the environment for sustainable development must be placed at the feet of the women otherwise we have got some serious prayers to perform. According to a UN Women publication about 1.3 billion women have no bank accounts or operate anything in that category world wide while just about 20% of the world population of women own land. Accordingly women are less resilient to the risks that come with poverty and conflicts. Though they do not own land and have little money women are at the receiving end of environmental degradation because in majority of developing countries it is women who toil the land; farming, fetching water, and fetching firewood. Any message and action for sustainable development must be targeted at the ‘real’ woman, that one that is in the rural community, attaining the 2030 agenda is beyond you and I station out here in the cities. For effective implementation and success the women out there who have no access to education, health facility, media attention, power, water and sanitation are the agency for true transformation.
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