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Make it happen

This year’s theme of International Women’s Day is Make it happen.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights” A quote by Gloria Steinem

Lately the struggle for equality by feminists might have been perceived as whining by some. These are the most heard questions: Haven’t women achieved much already? Is it not enough for them? Is feminism still relevant today? The word feminist seems to have become a non-word. This calls for negative associations of women and men who stand up for women’s rights.

 Image is courtesy of Freepik

As a feminist, a happily married one, I’d like to remind you how far we women have come. In the early years, the women who started it weren’t labeled as feminist at the end of 20th and the beginning of 21 century. Those feminist avant la lettre made the following happen:

Education for women

Have you ever heard of this quote:  

educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation. A quote by Brigham Young

Access to education was made possible by the first wave of feminism in the beginning of 20th century. Can you even imagine that only men were allowed to attend school at that time? It is unthinkable now, right? 

If this was not fought for, women would had been excluded from literacy because it was a start of education; the ability to read and write. If women were not to attend school, and therefore they could not read and write, I would have not be able to maintain and have this blog, would I?

Right to vote

By voting women are able to choose those who represent themselves best. Along with the right to vote, came the right to be voted too. Politics is not exclusive for men only from then.

Protection of pregnant employee

Although this sadly still happens but officially firing a pregnant employee is forbidden by law.

Those first two seem very common now but they were something women ought to fight for a century ago. Even today in some parts of the world education for women is forbidden. It is no secret that there is a wage gap between a man and a woman with the same occupation and responsabilities.

A succesful woman often has to answer a question about how she combines her family with her job. While succesful man who has a family never deals with this kind of question.

Answering the question whether feminism thus fighting for women’s rights is still relevant today, it still is. Besides the points I shared above, fighting for women’s rights means paying attention to violence against women which sadly is very much going on. Rape, sexual harassment and domestic abuse is unfortunately daily news.

As I emphasized in my post about IWD in 2011, fighting for women’s right and equality doesn’t mean women would like to be men. It is fighting for recognition for women’s achievements. The way I see it the struggle now has changed to striving for equal opportunities. Like men, women must have a choice to make themselves. They ought to be capable to take the path they want, not that this is imposed to them.

Everytime you hear a feminist expressing her or his concern (a man can be a feminist too nowadays) regarding women’s right, remember women’s position a century ago. Those pioneers in women’s rights movement made it happen for us. Let’s make it happen for women now and for our daughters tomorrow. 




21 thoughts on “Make it happen

  1. Agree with you Mbak Yo. Copy paste dari artikelnya Mbak Yo: “Like men, women must have a choice to make themselves. They ought to be capable to take the path they want, not that this is imposed to them.” Di sini masoh banyak praktek yang memosisikan perempuan seharusnya begini begitu sesuai kodratnya (yang kalau menurut saya lebih ke ketidakmauan memberikan kesempatan yang sama pada mereka). Kadang gemes kalo denger teman yang tidak boleh ini itu oleh keluarganya karena mereka perempuan.

  2. I think, for Indonesia, maternal leave should be a concern, too. In my office, which is a government one, the maternal leave is only three months–one before and two after. I think that amount still isn’t enough, as in fact it’s make the moms overwhelmed too–they would be very tired with all works and those breast-feeding matters :huhu.

  3. educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation. A quote by Brigham Young

    Bagus banget quotenya ya mba🙂
    aku baru baca pagi ini kelewatan buat ngucapin untuk socmed kantor huhu

  4. Nggak ada hari pria sedunia ya?
    Kasihan juga…haha..
    Kadang kasihan juga kalau baca nasib feminis generasi pertama..bnyk wanita yg memetik hasilnya skrg tapi mrk dilabeli yg tidak2, pdhl bnyk pengorbanan yg dilakukan..

  5. Pingback: Make it Happen : International Women’s Day 2015 | mea gratae itinera

  6. “fighting for women’s right and equality doesn’t mean women would like to be men. It is fighting for recognition for women’s achievements”
    Setuju banget. Apalagi soal pendidikan, karena yg mengasuh anak2 itu kebanyakan wanita (sbg ibu).
    Masa anaknya mau diajarin orang yg pendidikannya kurang?

      • Ho’oh mbak, lagian kalo orang pinter asli itu menuntut ilmu untuk dipraktekkan, jadi bukan hal yg mubazir. ART ku dulu pingin banget sekolah lagi, paling gak kursus lah,sayangnya sblm sempat aku kursusin dia udah kawin duluan.

    • We do, we can’t lean back and do nothing. Even for uw who live in the country where women’s rights are ok, we still need to fight for other women elsewhere, those who are not as lucky as we are.

  7. Apapun pilihannya, wanita berhak milih ya kan Mbak Yo. Misalnya nih, ada perempuan yang nrimo mau jadi ibu RT aja daripada berkarir di luar rumah, tapi kalau itu emang udah jadi pilihannya sendiri, mestinya ga masalah ya mbak Yo?

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