Equality is dignity.

On the International Women’s Day, let’s think of women out there, particularly those with stories that remind us why the Women’s Day is still relevant.

Let’s think of the:

  1. Girls who never got to realise their full potential just because their parents believed that they were not deserving of equal educational opportunities. After all, they were all destined for a life in the kitchen.
  2. Women who never got to feel sexual pleasure, because the culture they were apparently born into required their clitoris to be mutilated.
  3. Girls who dreamt to play football but never got to do so, because their parents didn’t want her to be “butch”.
  4. Women who had to live double lives, because their parents couldn’t accept that their daughters preferred not to don the hijab
  5. Single mothers who struggled to raise their kids alone, without much state support. In some societies, single mothers were even frowned upon. Some even thought that her predicament was a result of her own doing – “Siapa suruh tak pandai jaga suami?”.
  6. Girls who never got to choose who they’d spend their whole lives with, just because their parents believed that their families had complete control over the matter
  7. Girls who were forced into prostitution by their own families; only to end up being treated as pariahs of the society for the rest of their lives
  8. Ladies who still get nasty comments on Instagram commanding them to cover their arms and toes, because apparently their hijab wasn’t Islamic enough
  9. Housewives who dedicated their whole lives towards ensuring that their families were well taken care of, only to have some of us in the society view them as “less educated” or “less productive” than working women
  10. Ladies who wanted to wear the hijab to express their religious faith, only to have some bigots heckle at them at the subway
  11. Women who had to see their husbands marry a second wife without their permission, just because it was perfectly legal for the men to do so
  12. Transgender women who got arrested for wearing dresses and having their hair long, because apparently the state couldn’t allow their community to exist and thrive in peace
  13. Those smartest girls in their classes who could never be class monitors. They could only be deputies, because women weren’t allowed to rule over men.
  14. Successful gymnast, who trained long hours every day, only to get the netizens criticise her for not covering up during sports events.
  15. Women in some countries, who are still not allowed to leave home without their male guardian chaperoning them. These women are forever treated by the State like underage children. In one particular country, they can’t even drive.

There are three billion women out there, each with their own distinctive story. While not all women are heavily oppressed day in day out, it’s also important to note that there are still many out there, in many corners of the globe, who are.

Let’s remember them, and tell ourselves that change, if anything, should begin from all of us.

Stop making gender a factor in assessing a person’s worth. A person is more than his/her gender.

A person is a person

 

Speak soon,

FH

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