International Women's Day
From Past to Present . . .
Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons
Equal Rights Conference at Woman's Party. L to R: Katherine Morey, Brookline Mass., Mass.
State Chairman, Woman's Party; Elsie Hill, Norwalk, Conn.; Mrs. Wm. H. Blauvelt,
Syracuse, N.Y., State Chairman of the Woman's Party, 11/11/1922
The Struggle Continues!
The long history of the struggles of women - whether documented or not - has undoubtedly been an arduous journey spanning the very existence of women on a global scale. The inferential acceptance of norms which have been widely established and propagated concerning a woman's place, role and usefulness within smaller communal settings and throughout larger structured societies have crystallized a range of unjust inequalities which have adversely stigmatized the human development and progress of women throughout the world.
Even now as advanced societies prepare to meet an array of complex and unexpected challenges already piling upon the threshold of a new era - the 21st Century and new Millennium - the global majority of young girls [in contrast to their counterpart, boys] continue to automatically accept without question or doubt their implied place. Whether in the home among family, in the work environment, in government and throughout society as a whole, women and girls are yet considered the weaker and lesser gender.
From the cradle of female infancy to adolescence; and thus continuing throughout the process toward maturity, whereby young girls eventually become full-fledged women, a built-in acceptance of a lesser value of importance for the 'weaker gender' has been a convenient culprit which has enabled an ideal world for men who have claimed authority and dominant rule over every aspect of human existence.
In comparison to the days of antiquity wherein women were seen and not heard - and in some cultures not seen or heard at all - women of today's advanced societies have gained an abundance of rights and freedoms. And despite this abundance of rightful liberties that modern-day women enjoy, the embedded notion of "inferiority" [of women to their counterpart, men] is yet firmly affixed in the minds of myriads of women from young to old. In this new era of promising progress, the age-old "inferiority complex" yet exist: both in the psyche of the poorest of women struggling to survive throughout underdeveloped and developing countries and also in the thought processes of women who dwell among the masses which thrive in the high tech, modern-day world.
Present-day inequalities - which also existed between men and women extending far back through the annals of ages past - emerged from formative ideas of gender distinctions based on physical differences alone. Thus, physical strengths and weaknesses between the two sexes with regard to dominant and subjective roles determined the earliest forms of the "rules to abide by" which was applied to every facet of men-women co-existence. In other words, the "do's" and "don'ts" for women determined her place in everyday living. Throughout extensive periods of time, the determinant "do's" and "don'ts" continued to leave lasting impressions for subsequent generations of women to strictly adhere to. Whether women agreed to their delegated lesser roles or not, little could be done or even suggested to upset established customs, norms, traditions and conventions which embodied and embraced the earliest ideas of formative developmental concepts [including "taboos"] - all of which contributed to laying the pillars of family and societal male dominance [based solely on the stronger, physical abilities of men compared to women].
And from antiquated observations and distinctions based solely on physical abilities and attributes, one may come to understand how through the ages the clever meaning behind one of motion pictures' most famous and catchy phrases, "ME TARZAN: you jane!" - yet survives with accepted implications even in the 21st Century and new Millennium.
Thus, for the purpose of survival and communal functions, women [of pre-recorded history] had no choice except to accept their lesser roles determined by their physically stronger mates: TARZANS!
But what may have started out as a simple way to distinguish and classify the differences between the sexes and the roles of men and women during an age when an awareness, purpose and function of human co-habitation within a primitive environment were rudimentary, the results of such distinctions [throughout many generations] set in place a fixed pattern [of communal / societal norms and traditions] whereby men have ended up with the upper hand!
And based on some of those earliest known relationships and functions, one might now ask "Were primitive distinctions and roles [established by men] cleverly cloaked in a larger scheme intended to bring about a more sinister scenario: that is to say, an eventual emergence of a global society of ruling men keenly adverse to the rights, development and progress of women?!"
Over hundreds - even thousands of years - history has shown that the "ruling men" [even men not in positions of authority or power] have by no means set out to run a "fast-paced marathon" panting toward a finish line banner entitled, "Fulfill the Rights of Women!"
Quite the contrary! For example, culprits of the Corporate world have faithfully acknowledged and adhered to what has become known as the "glass ceiling." Needless to say, this imaginary "glass ceiling" was certainly not architecturally designed and constructed by women, but rather men: Corporate moguls and world wielding tycoons! And why a "glass ceiling?" Solely for the purpose of preventing women from progressing beyond a certain level of career advancements throughout the work place.
Yet despite the cleverly constructed "glass ceiling" - which is forever looming overhead - women throughout advanced societies are frequently portrayed as successful professionals in the workplace. Moreover, women have long become rightful voters who have a say - and even a profound influential sway - in the political process.
Long gone are the days when 'Women's Suffrage' was a 'hotly debated topic of discussion' - by men and women alike. In addition to the tremendous impact that women exercise during political elections, women themselves are now elected to high-level official positions and also serve diverse citizenry by means of significant governmental appointments on local, national and international levels.
The progress of women now depicted throughout modern-day advanced societies does attest to an undeniable fact: women certainly have come a long, long way!
The many achievements of women are no doubt historic victories that have proven to be not only beneficial for the well-being and progress of women alone, but also for society as a whole. And in spite of the fact that women are now accepted as being fully capable of contributing to the improvement and furtherance of economic and societal progress [with positive input, helpful influences and effective skills and capabilities that bring about valuable results], large numbers of women throughout underdeveloped and developing countries have not shared in women's notable accomplishments.
By nature, females the world over are instinctively aware of - and in tune with - that natural, inherent femininity! No matter how rich or poor or cared for or neglected, females intuitively understand that "women are women and men are men!" Hardly are women crying out to "metamorphose" themselves into the opposite sex. The cry that has now become a loudly echoing reverberation - clearly heard from every corner of the world - is a demand for "Women's Rights:" "Rights" that are inherently and inextricably linked to "Human Rights!" In fact, "Women's Rights" are "Human Rights!"
In terms of "Human Rights," women are no less entitled to those same inherent rights than are men. Thus, the differences between the two sexes should not be held as a tool for exclusive hoarding and lording of "Rights" by one sex over the other.
By no means should women languish and suffer due to societal schemes, nomadic norms, religious rituals and menacing societal mechanisms intended to deny "inherent Women's Rights:" "Rights" that enable the proper development and progress of "all women" and "society as a whole!"
Throughout the historic and painful pathways that trailblazing women bravely embarked upon with continuous efforts to gain women's rights and freedoms, a specific societal impairment should never be forgotten! More precisely, "a lack of education" posed a great hindrance to women.
The prevention of women from pursuing a higher education lessened [and thus delayed] the manifestation of women's intellectual and skillful abilities, professional effectiveness, and positive influential strengths that could have improved the status of women throughout many generations.
In fact, the education of women in days of old were literally laughed at and scoffed upon by men! And although the mere thought of a woman attending a college or university was as unlikely to gain wide-spread social acceptance as women being allowed to vote, there were yet undaunted women - albeit a few - who persevered and boldly entered into the halls of academia.
The pursuit of education by young girls and women is an "inherent Human Right!" And without confronting the issues and providing the means whereby sustainable education - for women and girls - can be established and progressed forward, women in many areas of the world will continue to be molded into subjective [and/or] non-roles within a stagnant social context: a context of confinement which have offered women [throughout underdeveloped and developing areas] nothing more than the short end of freedoms, equality, education and progress.
Even the youngest members of women [collectively, young girls] are yet caught in the snares of societal and cultural norms which continue to impose upon them a pattern of thought which forces 'girls' to accept - with humble simplicity, utmost obedience and oftentimes fear - traditions intentionally set in place solely for the purpose of keeping women and girls uneducated and subjected to the dominant forces of men, which throughout many underdeveloped and developing countries have proven to be harmful and brutal!
Although some progress has been made in underdeveloped and developing countries to advance the acceptance of women as active participants in local, national and world affairs, the actual overcoming of strongholds which continue to prevent the establishment of significant changes - bearing the seals of official acknowledgments, recognition and the actual manifestation of "women in action" - is yet to been seen. And across the spectrum of injustices and inequalities, the focal points of serious concerns should be concentrated on women struggling to exist in abject poverty: particularly in the home environment [wherein "Women's Rights" are being grossly violated with acts of violence], in local communities [where gang rapes against women and girls have become the norm and child marriages by adult men are prevalent], in the work place [wherein women are disregarded as inferior objects] and throughout offices / positions of governing entities [wherein men yet consider women as nothing more than symbolic figures relegated to appeasing public opinions for political purposes].
Violence in the form of rape and genital mutilation against vast numbers of young girls and women throughout underdeveloped and developing countries are explosive issues now screaming loudly in the spotlight; front and center on the global stage. The severe impact of these horrific violations against girls and women leave devastating impressions: irreversible physical and emotional scars which can be described as nothing short of traumatic hysteria.
Security protection for women and girls throughout areas of utter neglect is a priority that must be "stepped-up" in order to prevent such horrendous crimes from occurring. In addition to women of poverty and neglect being helplessly subjected to abuses by lawless men, women who reside throughout some of the world's most advanced and wealthy Nations are also frequently the victims of violence running rampant on a daily basis.
"Women's Rights" are no less important than all enforceable rights and laws that should be adhered to within the smallest environs of communal villages to the most advanced Nations globally. With all certainty, the responsibility to protect the rights of "all peoples - including women" must be accomplished by every governing entity.
As the world community is fully aware of wide-spread brutalities being perpetrated against women, a show of action against the full spectrum of such violence must not be delayed! History itself attests to the awful facts: the human condition of scores of women is wrongfully being degraded and devastated! Local communities, societies and entire Nations must ensure that such crimes against women and girls “cease and desist!"
Whether the perpetrators or sources of violence against women stem from cultural, religious, traditional, or political beliefs, the crime of rape and violence against young girls and women MUST END NOW!
If the world as a whole intends to progress into the future with an aim toward further development and prosperity "for all," each governing Nation / ruling entity must act with a show of competent determination in the process of developing, implementing, strengthening, safeguarding and compelling adherence to laws relative to "Women's Rights." By doing so - as history has proven - the world as a whole can greatly benefit from the empowerment of women everywhere!
With the potential to contribute toward the improvement of life in the home, work place, government and society - with lawful equality as a solid foundation - women can and do bring value and ingenuity through the portals of opportunities. And a starting point for women empowerment is through the doors of economic security.
With opportunities that afford the operating of sustainable small-scaled local economies, women can begin to be uplifted from the chains of dependency and male dominant subjection which have been strangleholds of oppressive stagnation for many generations. With the tools of education and the resources of financial backing, small-scaled economies, fully operated by women, can become springboards that catapult women toward extended and more prosperous economic opportunities.
The Foundation [EPACHA] places "Women's Rights," the protection of women, development of sustainable healthcare, education and economic security for women and girls as high priorities with an aim toward improving and benefitting "ALL" of Humanity.
Remember . . .
In every place Around the World,
- EPACHA Foundation -
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