Taking CHARGE of a basic right: Education
Take a step back and think: What if I didn’t have an education, food, healthcare, the right to vote or the ability partake in societal activity? While all that is hard to swallow, it is the harsh reality for women all around the world… this is where the social movement superhero feminism flies in!
Living in a developed country, it is easy for men and women to forget that other individuals around the world do not enjoy the same basic rights in healthcare, education and beyond. Feminism is not synonymous with man hating, it equates to creating equal rights for both sexes all around the world. Many feminist influencers argue that movements such as I don’t need feminism are derived from western privilege, with individuals not thinking beyond their boarders to other countries where women do not have the opportunity to attend school, vote and be part of the societal environment without being assaulted or shunned. Boko Haram abducting hundreds of girls and why? They dreamed- maybe of becoming a politician, a scientist, a teacher, a successful mother- maybe because they wanted to break out of the cycle of gender inequality that Feminism strives for.
But cases like Malala Yousafzai who after facing tough circumstances has now become an inspiration through her journey and work with the UN prove that when women are given the right opportunity she can take on the world.
It is astonishing to think that 60 million girls do not have the opportunity to attend school around the world. Research has found that education not only boost opportunities for women to achieve their dreams but it also helps them to empower and benefit their communities and beyond. While primary school percentages have increased 80 percent of the last 25 years, secondary education for women continues to lack, which is alarming considering one year of secondary schooling can increase a women’s income by 25%.
It takes strong men and women to help fight against such inequalities and Hilary Clinton and Julia Gillard who have both been a strong equal rights activists throughout their career has launched an initiative called CHARGE— the Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources. The project of the Clinton Initiative in conjunction with the Centre on Universal Education at the Brookings Institution is pulling together 30 public private partners to given $600 million and governments to fund girl’s education programs and allow 14 million more girls an opportunity to feed their minds and community in knowledge, determination and dreams.
CHARGE has five main goals:
- Keep girls in school
- Ensure school safety and security
- Improve quality of learning for girls
- Support transitions from and out of school
- Support girls’ education leaders/workers in developing countries to fulfill these goals
Watch announcement here: http://new.livestream.com/CGI/CGI2014/videos/63004584
Julia Gillard explained the strong importance of such girl’s education programs in creating equal and stronger global communities: “I think across the world, as we talk about women in developing countries, there’s been increasing recognition that empowering women and girls is a key change agent for development. There have been some truly shocking incidents that have caused us to have tears in our eyes and sharply intake our breath—what happened to Malala, what has happened with the Nigerian schoolgirls—that powerfully remind us that in some part of the world, getting an education is still a very dangerous thing for a girl. It’s being targeted because it’s powerful. Education is powerful, which is why some people want to stop it and why we should feel so passionate about assuring that it occurs.”
With both women facing misogyny throughout their political careers, the former Prime Minister Julia Gillard also points that people in western nations cannot settle and must still fight for progress in feminism not only for their own benefits but for people all around the world. “My own perspective is that in many places around the world—Australia, here in the United States—after the big push of the second wave of feminism in our own nations, there was the assumption made that naturally gender change was happening and everything would equalize. I think in recent years there’s been a realization that no, there are still problems in our own nations, including domestic violence, that require a dedicated focus and approach. The dialogue both in Australia and the United States must still include questions of political leadership, corporate leadership, civil society leadership where doors still need to be opened for women.”
Feminism is about human rights; it is about equality for men and women. It is about letting women chase their dreams with no fear, being strong leaders in communities alongside their male counterparts to achieve empowerment, strong economies, power balance and peace. Feminism like Run The Word embodies strength and change, to stand up and point out inequalities for both sexes- no woman or man should be labeled because of what they wears or if the choose to pursue. Feminism is about stamping out cultures that are oppressing- men must not feel pressured to fit the macho ‘stereotype’ and women should ot feel objectified in western and non- western nations.
What is your opinion on the initiative? Is there other initiatives you love that are helping to run the word?
Be part of the change. Create positive perspective and language around feminism so that others join the movement.
Empower. Inspire. Change #RunTheWord
Read Julia Gillard’s Speech at the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/01/educate-women-and-their-community-will-prosper-deny-them-education-and-the-world-will-suffer
Read Times Article- After Boko Haram: Hillary Clinton Promises Education for 14 million girls