In the past and recent times, women all over the world have been subjected to so much discrimination. Ranging from gender prejudice to gender-based violence, sexism, male chauvinism, unequal pay, honor killings, female genital mutilation among many other violence and inequalities, the list is endless. The question is why is a charismatic intelligent woman so threatening to the society that many women in different parts of the society are being discriminated against even in the present 21st century. Honestly, I can’t come up with any befitting answer. Women have been left out for many decades in several decision-making processes and this has ultimately contributed to being a major obstacle in the economic development process in many developing countries.
Tunisia, a country in North Africa has successfully improved political and social women’s representation. Following the 2011 revolution, Former Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid in 2015 at the Global Leaders meeting pledged to expand women’s ability to participate in politics and public affairs as seen on UN WOMEN saying “Our experience in democratic transition recently is witness to the fact that women should be represented in all legislative bodies. Hence, we enhance women’s ability to participate in politics and in public affairs. This is a commitment.” This progress towards creating gender equality and making a more inclusive political system in the country is a major progress making it among the first Arab Nation to improve women’s participation in all forms of life.
Women played lead roles in cleaning up after the spectacular Icelandic financial meltdown. Among these women is Halla Tómasdóttir, an entrepreneur who infused the world of finance with feminine values. Speaking at TEDWomen talk in 2016, Halla mentioned that “nothing works when women are not at work” sighting an example of how Icelandic women in 1975 went on a strike doing no jobs whatsoever for that day whether it was professional or a home job. With 90% of women participating in the strike, they all marched and asked for equality. Five years after this in 1980, Iceland became the first country in the world to democratically elect the first Woman President, President Vigdis Finnbogadottir. Although it wasn’t the first country to give women the right to vote, it became a pacesetter in Europe and the World as a whole. This is seen as an opening door to the country’s gender equality and hope for other nations that women too can occupy leading roles in an economy.
Nigeria’s Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a Women’s right activist, educationist and political leader who was an activist in the 20th century before feminism began to gain waves in the region at the time. Her prominent activism led to the creation of Abeokuta Women’s union (AWU). The society’s goals included higher educational opportunities for women and girls among other women’s rights. She went on to form the Federation of National Women societies in 1953 which later created an alliance with Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) through which she fought for employment, women’s right to education and political participation. She’s popularly regarded by some people as the “Mother of Africa” as seen on MsAfropolitan as she revolved her life around fighting for women’s equality.
With the many great achievements women have made in history and the major strides some countries have taken to improve women’s rights and representation in politics, there is still a lot more work to be done. So many women, especially in third world countries, developing rural areas are still being held back from participating fully in social and economic aspects of life or even allowed to have a voice. Women too are human beings and should have access to the basic human rights in every country. Looking at the great accomplishments many women have achieved so far, it is pertinent to note that with facile and developing access to equal rights and empowerment. Women can make great positive changes and bring about socio-economic development around the world especially in developing countries.
In honor of March being National Women’s History Month in the United States, this is going to all the unrecognized girls and women all over the world who are constantly putting themselves through life-threatening risks fighting for women’s rights and trying to make sure other girls and women have a better world to live in where they would not have to fight for basic human rights.
Women are HUMANS too and not a THREAT to the world.