This article was published on “Foresight for Development”, check: http://www.foresightfordevelopment.org/featured/gender-equality-ii
I was honored to represent women in two international events that emphasized changing history: the “World Conference on Youth” in Sri Lanka and “UNAOC: Unity in Diversity” in Indonesia. I used this opportunity to be the voice of many women around world, and negotiate the right for gender equality to all women.
The outcomes of the post-agenda 2015 are a future promise to girls and women to live a normal life. It is now time to stand up for quality of girls’ secondary and higher levels of education and learning outcomes. “If you educate a woman, you educate a nation” cannot be possible if girls and women are forced to stay at home instead of studying. Ensuring the right of education for women, means giving them much better economic forecasts, more decision-making autonomy, greater control over their own productivity, healthier children, and a better chance of educating their own children.
If there is anything that would help to improve the situation of women, I would say “education”, which is a great way to empower women, not only socially, but politically and economically. As for the so-called “economic empowerment” of women, women’s roles in economic contributions were mostly ignored. Women’s economic empowerment must be not only a priority but a matter of urgency in the post-2015 framework.
The post-2015 development agenda should include targets and indicators on women’s ownership of and access to assets, engagement in employment and entrepreneurship. Women should have ownership of and access to possessions, resources and services.
Another thing that is unacceptable in the name of humanity that happens to one in three women in their lifetime is “violence”. Violence is a universal phenomenon ingrained in the determined discrimination against women and the historic power inequality in relationships between the two sexes.
I believe that violence is not tolerated across all cultures, countries and generations. It damages women’s health and well-being, inflicts upon their human rights, and deprives women, families and society as a whole.
Women to lead, to voice out and influence
Women should have the capacity to participate in and influence the decisions that affect their own lives, which are basic human rights and a requirement for responsive and equitable governance. Empowering women and thereby enhancing their chances to take leadership positions in the global economy, politics and society, has a great impact on maximizing a country’s development potential.
Contribution of women in peace and security
It is necessary to ensure participation of women in addressing the peaceful dialogue. Building peaceful and sustainable states can only happen through the active engagement and inclusion of women in peace and security negotiations.
Women and the environment
Research established that women are the world’s main producers of food and responsible for collecting water and fuel. In India and Africa, women walk from six to eight hours to fetch water. As such, they have extensive knowledge about the management of natural resources and ecosystems and their views can contribute considerately in fighting climate change.
Gender equality is a precondition for the health and development of societies and countries, and a driver of economic, social and political growth. It is our duty to ensure a brighter future for our daughters, without making them feel lesser than men or compromising opportunities to be equal to males.
I BELIEVE that we will still face poverty problems, health issues, employment matters, education difficulties, environment complications, unless we ensure gender equality, where both sexes have equal opportunities and chances to build a better world.