Why 2017 Is The Year Of Active Feminism
I don’t usually use this platform to take a stance on political or social issues, but I feel that right now in our particular social climate, more people need to adopt a more feminist mindset if we’re going to have any more progress with gender equality.
So I implore you this 2017 to become an active feminist.
To some, that may seem like a really scary concept, and I totally get it. So what does being an ‘active feminist’ mean for you? There are, of course, varying degrees of being an active feminist, and you only need to do what feels comfortable for you. This might mean going to rallies and being active in the feminist debate on social media and questioning assumptions, it could also mean taking a more active stance for gender equality within your workplace. You could also be an active feminist by raising your children to believe in gender equality or simply by having a conversation about it more often with friends and colleagues. The whole point is to keep the whole conversation going, only then can we bring about change.
Here are some facts and figures to get you up-to-date on where we stand right now in terms of gender equality;
- In the U.K, women in full-time jobs earn on average 17% less than British men
- In the U.K, women in part-time jobs earn on average 47% less than British men
- 21% of the world’s managers are female
- 1% of the titled land in the world is owned by women
- In the EU, women comprise 3% of chief execs of major companies
- 700 million women are without adequate food, water, health care, sanitation or education
- 70% of the 1.2 billion people living in poverty are women and children
- 85 million girls worldwide are unable to attend school, compared with 45 million boys. In Chad, just 4% of girls go to school.
- 1 in 7 women in Ethiopia die in pregnancy or childbirth (it is one in 19,000 in Britain)
- 85 000 women in England and Wales are raped every year (233 per day – more than one every ten minutes)
- 1 in 5 women aged 16 – 59 has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16
- Only around 15% of those who experience sexual violence choose to report to the police
- Approximately 90% of those who are raped know the perpetrator prior to the offense
- A third of people believe women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped (Amnesty, 2005)
I believe that more now than ever, we really need to stand up for the rights that women have been denied simply because of old fashioned views and complete and blatant sexist thinking. We should be ready to call out if we ever witness these bad practices happening and be ready to question the assumptions of others.
I know, some are going to ask, and indeed some have already asked me, aren’t I being a little hypocritical in writing this post if what I promote on this platform are tips on how to dress in black and white or why you need that little black dress? Well here’s the answer to that:
Being a feminist doesn’t mean rejecting your femininity.
It’s important to say that femininity has a lot of different meanings to many different people. In fact, femininity has a different meaning to each and every single woman. All women express femininity in different ways, there is not blanketed definition, such as the one google lists as being “she celebrates her femininity by wearing make-up and high heels”. But that’s a topic for a whole other blog post.
So I encourage you to start thinking about how you can take a bigger stance when it comes to gender equality. Watch this space for more…