DAY 2: The Importance of Amplifying the Female Voice

I have witnessed young women leaders advocating on behalf of women’s economic, social and political equality. Overall, it is clear that women globally are coming together and achieving greatness despite experiencing significant obstacles.

For example, one inspiring woman told me about how discouraging her father was to her when she was a child. This woman, growing up in New Delhi, India, had expected all her life to become a “housewife.” Now she is an inspiring global leader who spends most of her time inspiring other women with her story and running two non-profits.

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Her story, among women, is not unique. Women all over the world are beginning to achieve leadership roles in diverse fields, from physics and astronomy to politics and business.

According to Sheryl Sandberg in the article, Gender Equality Won’t Happen Unless Men Speak Up,” females dominate “the heated discussion around gender equality” and that “men need to engage in the workplace gender equality debate” with more vigor. In my experience, however, females tend not to dominate many important discussions, particularly those related to policy-making and achieving certain political agendas.

Research also shows that men dominate discussion of women’s issues in media, politics, and health. According to research in the Huffington Post, “men overwhelmingly outnumber women when it comes to who is quoted in the press about the 2012 election campaign – even about issues that primarily affect women.” In order for the empowerment of women to progress, women must gain higher percentages of representation in all fields, especially those pertaining to women-specific health issues.

There is no doubt in my mind that men actively participating in the fight for equality among women is both timely and a necessity. In order for any type of progress to be accomplished, there must be a diverse group of people advocating for change. However, through observing many events at the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, I have learned that in order to create a more inclusive environment concerning women’s rights, and human rights in general, it is imperative to encourage more women, especially young women, to speak up and encourage more men, especially young men, to listen.

 

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