In my previous blog post, The Rise of Islamophobia and the Feminist Debate, I discussed how the populist far right in Western countries tend to blame Muslim men and Islam as the only oppressors of women. I argue that the oppression of women is a global phenomena that does not exist in just one culture or religion and that the oppression of women exists everywhere.
“The oppression of women is our century’s greatest injustice,” is what Sheryl WuDunn calls it in her TED Talk. In this lecture Sheryl describes the oppression of women as a global phenomena connected to poverty and development, Sheryl argues that the greatest moral challenge of this century is gender inequality. I think this lecture is very inspirational and I fully agree with her.
Women’s rights are one of the most important issues the world faces today, in all societies, cultures and religions. All around the world women are oppressed and neglected their rights. It is a problem we should not underestimate. The lack of women’s rights is a global problem. The global oppression of women just takes different shapes in different countries, cultures and religions. Today millions of women and girls suffer from violence both in peace and war. Across the globe women are beaten, raped and mutilated.
- According to World Health Organization (WHO) 35% of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
- Two thirds of the world’s 880 million illiterates are women. Although, today significantly more girls than boys fail to complete their first years of primary school.
- One third of the world’s girls are married before they turn 18 and 1 girl out of 9 are married before they turn 15.
- In almost 25 % of the world’s countries, women are not allowed to have an abortion or use contraceptives. These laws put women in a vulnerable situation and make thousands of women suffer from illegal abortions, which kill and make women sterile every day.
Although, this information doesn’t come close to covering all of the inequalities millions of women face on a daily basis, it is important to see this as a global issue. If we want a world were everyone lives in security and peace, then one requirement is that girls, boys, women and men have the same opportunities and rights. We need to continue to raise awareness about women’s rights and speak up for women all over the world.
We must show solidarity.
- Visit Half the Sky Movement – turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide.
- Also, stay tuned on girlsglobe.org to read about the positive change that is being made for women and girls around the world, and be inspired to make a difference!
Featured image credit to UNDP Europe and CIS on Flickr, Creative Commons