When people talk about feminism I have to admit I get a bit awkward and uncomfortable.
Not because I believe women belong in the kitchen and all those other gender stereotypes.
I feel as though someone will throw out some horrible snarly comment about the negative aspects of declaring yourself a feminist. (Men-hating, bra burning) things that aren’t true.
It’s hard to believe in ‘this day-and-age’ we’re still fighting for equality. In my world I am lucky that I am paid the same as my male colleagues, I have the same opportunities as them and I’m not inferior. But outside of my little world, the bigger picture isn’t as sweet.
Nationally fewer thn 23% of MPs are female. Gender based violence is still a concern and on averge women earn almost 10% less than men.
In the whole of Europe there’s a percentile difference of almost 17%!
Internationally women are still subject of many gender based crimes or violence. While it is outlawed in most countries that practise Female genial mutilation women in at least 25 African countries (and more across the world) are still at risk. The basic human right to education doesn’t apply to many girls in developing countries and many drop out in their early adolescent years due to pressures including marriage and pregnancy.
Women elected to be heads of state/government in recent years:
- Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany (Elected 2005)
- Executive President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia (Elected 2006)
- Executive President Michelle Bachelet Jeria, Chile (Elected 2006)
- Minister President Emily de Jongh-Elhage, Nederlandse Antillen (Self-governing Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) (Elected 2006)
- Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, Jamaica (Elected 2007)
- Prime Minister Han Myung-sook, South Korea (Elected 2007)
- President Pratibha Patil, India (Elected 2007)
- Executive President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina (Elected 2007)
- Acting President Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, South Africa (Elected 2008)
- Leader of the Government Antonella Mularoni, San Marino (Elected 2008)
- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Bangladesh (Elected 2009)
- Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland (Elected 2009)
- Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, Croatia (Elected 2009)
- President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Lithuania (Elected 2009)
- President of the Confederation Doris Leuthard, Switzerland (Elected 2010)
- President Roza Otunbayeva, Kyrgyzstan (Elected 2010)
- President-Elect Laura Chinchilla Miranda, Costa Rica (Elected 2010)
- Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi, Finland (Elected 2010)
- Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Australia (Elected 2010)
- Prime Minister Iveta Radičová, Slovakia (Elected 2010)
*Sources: Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Women like me who earn an equal or better salary than our male counterparts should not be blinded by the sexist inequality in the work place and all over the world. You would have to have been living in solitude to have not seen or heard about Emma Watson’s speech to the UN on gender equality and feminism launching the HeforShe champagne which encourages men (and women) to stand for equality of the sexes.
Believe it or not if you hope for gender equality you are a feminist. So why do I not want to be called a feminist?
It’s true, if you believe in the equality of the sexes you are a feminist but that word is so dirty and dusty, covered in the webs of history.
The world needs to provide a better platform for women to allow them to earn the same, speak as openly and not feel subjected to the scrutiny of men.
And on that note I’m off to bake a cake and do other things women should be doing.
The Equalitist xo