Social activities and projects
Despite being a fundamental human right, attaining equality between men and women while eradicating all forms of prejudices against women has never been easy. The society, for long, hasn’t given priority to realizing women’s human rights. As a result, women continue to suffer violations of their human rights. And this happens to women regularly, often throughout their lives. The scenario isn’t restricted to any specific geographic region and is prevalent across the world, though the degrees of oppression and discrimination may vary. The good news is that the scenario is changing fast with women speaking up against their oppressors and joining hands together to support each other via movements like MeToo, TimesUp etc. At the same time, a lot of social projects and activities too are being organized worldwide (and sometimes, in specific regions) to develop and implement appropriate strategies to eliminate discrimination against women and protect their gender rights.
Let’s take a look at some of these social projects and activities.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Gender equality isn’t a choice. It’s a right, and fulfilling it is the best way to meet some of the most vital challenges of today – from lack of health care and economic crisis, to violence against women, climate change, and rising conflicts. All these problems not only affect women the most, but can also be solved by them as women have the requisite leadership skills and ideas to handle the task. In fact, it’s the shackles of gender discrimination that are still holding a lot of women back, and thus, even holding our world back as well. All these factors played a key role in forming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and what the world leaders adopted in 2015 as the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) represent a strategy for sustainable progress that doesn’t leave anyone behind.
Work has been going on to achieve women’s empowerment and gender equality, which are essential to accomplish these 17 goals. Zero Hunger, No Poverty, Quality Education, Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Peace Justice and Strong Institutions, and Reduced Inequalities are some of these 17 SDGs. And it’s only by ensuring the rights of women (as well as that of girls) across all the goals that would help in accomplishing these goals for the present and the future generations.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development isn’t just a promise. Work has already started to turn these promises into action with gender-responsive monitoring of the Agenda by:
- explaining gender challenges and data gaps for strong monitoring and creating starting points and trends across various gender-related indicators based on data that’s available;
- depicting how gender equality is at the core of achieving all 17 SDGs and arguing for a rights-based and integrated approach to execution;
- giving concrete guidance on policies to accomplish SDG 5’s planned targets under (which are violence and unpaid care) and summarizing how these policies are synergistic with other targets and goals; and
- establishing an agenda for reinforcing accountability for gender equality pledges at global, national, and regional levels.
Raising your voice
Cases of women being sexually harassed at the workplace started coming out in 2017 with the hashtags #MeToo. TimesUp founded by Hollywood celebrities in 2018 soon joined the league. But even before these, Peru had protests in 2016 with the hashtags #NiUnaMenos and #A13 accompanies by the slogan Si tocan a una, tocan a todas which means “If they lay a hand on one of us, they lay a hand on all of us.”
Raising your voice for women’s gender equality and gender rights is crucial for spreading awareness among people and demolishing the barriers. In fact, you can trace the origin of the modern #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns to what started in 2005 with Hollaback! It was a conversation between seven youth (three men and four women). As the women continued telling one story after the other of harassment, the men became more and more concerned. Together, they decided to change the scenario.
The United Nations has shared eight simple ways by which anyone – a woman, man, and even a child, can contribute to gender justice today and every day that follows, and raising your voice sits at the top of the list. Though victims may often find it difficult to talk about their experiences, various social groups and activists encourage them to speak up. That’s because voice directs, amplifies, and changes the conversation. That’s why everyone – from men and women to children are encouraged to not sit silent when talking with friends or while attending meetings if they have something to add to the conversation. The FGM movement can be a fitting example of this. It started in Africa to end child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).
The plan to achieve a Planet 50-50
Based on existing interventions and present trajectories, it’s predicted that by 2030, it won’t be possible to achieve a Planet 50-50. Still, a lot of work is going on to make more and more people (especially men) realize the invisible workload (that’s unpaid in particular), which is dragging women down. It’s hoped that these awareness campaign and activities will help in splitting all unpaid work in life 50/50 between women and men so that both the genders can work, rest, thrive and feel empowered.
Despite these and many more social projects and activities, there’s still a long way to go before our society makes lives better for women – both present and future generations, by protecting their gender rights, and implementing and practicing gender equality.