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“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.” – Roseanne Barr.

Women have come a long way since they’d spent decades ‘leaning on’ to men or in many schemes were forced to. It is heart wrenching how progress has been advancing at the pace of turtles, but there’s been rapid diversity in the recent years. The need to be empowered, accepted or validated by men has been a foregone conclusion for some but not all. Empowerment and entrepreneurs comprising females don’t just happen on a whim but have to be circulated by women themselves. A woman uplifting other women is the key to creating powerful communities.

Women in Asian countries like Bangladesh, often face barriers and consequences in every aspect of their lives within the clutches of men which encircles health services, work and economic opportunity, political participation and finance control. How many women do we see in a parliament? What percentage of women is occupied in a labor dominated workplace? Will the continuation of assumption of women being tongue-tied and feeble grow and thrive in the upcoming generations, too?

When women realized their birth right to be making their own decisions and progressing in life doing what they love/desire, it was like fresh air in the polluted minds of misogynistic men and the lesser acknowledged female. However, women adapted to rebellious ways in order to achieve the status that they have today, whereas third world countries are still lacking behind by a quarter percentage or more of this change. In such countries, women are deprived of general security. There’s fear of cast, impurity based on social stigma, legacy and its rules, house arrest and regression of freedom.

Either women are married off early, often before the legal age of 18 or are not allowed to pursue higher education. More than 40 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserted that “everyone has the right to education.” Despite such notable and honorable efforts by multiple countries across the globe, the expansion of such initiative have been merely slow and accepted.

Reports surfaced that there are approximately 960 million illiterate adults living among-st us, out of which two third are sadly women. The rate of most illiterate women who have zero access to knowledge, new skills and technology, adaptation of quality filled social and economic change are at a one third percentage. Further research elevated that, 130 million children who were enrolled in primary schools embodied only 70% girls. In order to enlighten the shrewd minds who chant – “Boys are the future. They are the light bestowed upon a family. The scholarly inclinations of men have greater results than that of women. Women are nothing but just creatures with two-fingered wisdom. They do not bring in food or sit at the head chair, they are only entitled to cook and clean.”

The enclosed quotations represent how a dysfunctional mind works, mostly within the thin walled brains of men but disconsolately, often women are forced to think in that trail of thought too. These hypocritical findings are not only confined within the genuine citizens of any stereotypical country but it is rather repulsive to come across the greatest men who have said and endorsed some notorious sexist sayings.

“Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society” – Rush Limbaugh.

“They have the right to work wherever they want to – as long as they have dinner ready when you get home.” – John Wayne.

Such atrocious words and claims have been spoken and believed too many times, creating the worst protagonists that are as close as family or acquaintances. On the lucid side, the ‘Women’s Empowerment Principles’ which was developed through the partnership between UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact, have designed and offered practical guidance to business and private sectors on how to empower women in the workplace. This led to companies reviewing and moderating their existing policies and practices and later on, establish new ones; in support of women empowerment. It is also subtitled as ‘Equality Means Business’ and emphasizes on gender equality and empowerment. Innovation and reconstruction as such, makes people believe that even if you’re hurting, have minimal knowledge or have a significant lust for metamorphosis – it doesn’t have to remain a steady want/desire within. Once the flow for deriving transformation is regular, there may be substantial barriers which look shiny on the exterior but are originally hoaxed and unorthodox ways of pursuit on its core and hence, are bendable and brittle.

The ancient beliefs claim women as goddesses, however still fail terribly in treating them as such. The roots of discrimination go back to the ancient times where women were only confined within the four walls of their respective homes, doing house chores. Hence, it is comprehensible why the flow of such beliefs have been consistent and passed on from generation to generation. It takes a lot to wipe and deep clean the souls of such people who are embedded with ulterior motives and ethics.

 

Rewinding back to 1998, Koshal et al. stated that about 5% of total corporate jobs are handled by women and most top positions, if not all are managed by men. In 2006, Benson reflected that the number of women working and providing to the society and economy had a steady increase. Further reports have embellished the major reasons of such falling behind women in the workplace even though in the present, a handsome percentage of women are educated and experienced. However, there’s always resistant to promote them or let them succeed in general, due to which they are usually at an incomprehensible inertia at the workplace with no willingness of quitting but no chances of stepping up the ladder, either.

Focusing on women alone while eliminating out the possible potentials of men are wrong and vice versa. However, the idea of equality and its implementation will only be adapted by others when there’s a start to such change. The equitable representation of both men and women must begin in political, social, cinema, pictorial and community grounds. The greater the exposure such renowned floors will have, the more the learning will be. The achievements of women all around the globe must never be shoved under the rug as trifling phlegmatic news rather should be highlighted to create and bloom further diversity, may these be on educational, skill development, employment, and literacy or health terms. Women should be employed, promoted and rewarded based on their respective earning, education, skills and experience just like any other man in the workplace.

Moreover, through teaching and learning the laws, regulations and measures – implement the necessities that are compulsory in a workplace for the roles of child bearing, feeding, upbringing, birth incentives, pregnancy leave and child rearing. Eliminating discrimination and violence and promote equal pay for all.

Resistance and change always go hand in hand. There’s resistance when there’s the slightest notion of change happening. However, what if the change was for better? Not only for women, but for all. It’s not about women or men labeled as the only souls bringing in a secured future. In order to have a future in the first place, equality and existence of such devotion is necessary for all orientations. Change is inevitable when everyone realizes that suffering is actually optional.

“Extremists have shown what frightens them most – A girl with a book.” – Malala Yousafzai.

And in support of such fear, another quote is referred to prove thus:

“Educating a beautiful woman is like pouring honey into a fine Swidd watch: everything stops” – Kurt Vonnegut.

Ebana Haque

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I wonder where else can someone find peace if not within the vulnerabilities of reading. However, in all honesty I like people who don’t read like I like my tea. I don't like tea.

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