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The encompassing definition of feminism is the advocacy of political, social and economic rights for women equal to those of men. This can also mean that we recognize feminism from different perspectives for different women regardless of race, sexual orientation, economic status, nationality, class or creed.
The essence of being a feminist is not grounded in trendy hashtags and does not need to be consigned to a pseudo-fashionable statement. More importantly, feminists don’t identify with the posited “anti-male” judgment or female power rivalry. These types of radical myopia slander the development itself, leaving us caught in a discourse of misinterpretation while diverting from improving our core goals: humanity, equality, and a place for everyone to thrive wholly.
When we operate from a space that supports and engages this shared principal thinking, we are free to encourage feminine values at home, in the workforce and in our own communities. The foundation denotes an inclusive ecosystem where women have real access to their choices, are free to voice their truth and feel safe to harness personal liberation – unobstructed by repercussion or oppression.
Simply put, FEMINISM is a HUMAN rights issue and a fundamental belief that when equal balance is achieved, together, we are ALL more free.
The female movement has never had such far-reaching support and it’s come a long way – a benevolent journey worth celebrating. But enduring progress isn’t destined; it’s an outcome generated by our continued conscious efforts and diligent determination. Whether propagating feminist terminology or not, there are heroes to unequivocally salute for their effect: Michelle Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt, Oprah, Gloria Steinem, Angelina Jolie, Audre Lorde, Maya Angelou, Malala Yousaf, Kimberly Crenshaw, Anna Julia Cooper, Shirley Chisholm, Frida Kahlo, Alice Walker, Loretta Ross, Angela Davis and other countless women revolutionaries who have championed women’s rights and fought to build a more harmonious humankind.
As a society, we can forward progress by taking critical action on primary issues, by acknowledging that a ‘woman’ can signify many complex, unparalleled things, and by learning the innumerable ways women confront and feel challenged, both subtle and overt. Progress necessitates deep labor in building social movements that are intersectional, especially for the realities of women in marginalized groups. It cannot subscribe to a one-size-fits-all formula, seeing that oppression can be experienced in multitudes: racism, bigotry, sexism, economic status, sexual orientation, violence, health disparities, exploitation, cultural imperialism. In league, we must work fervently in demanding gender justice and respect for not just one kind of woman – but for each women (including non-binary people) who have the liberty to share space in equity discourse.
We exist in a time of great change, where many women are still systematically disadvantaged, living in tough economic circumstances, suffering from abuse, escaping violence and lacking access to education and health. Our global development requires thoughtful input and multifaceted action for any efficacious impact to take flight. Feminism depends on a mind that prioritizes freedom and collective activism from within so that we can dismantle harmful, traditional narratives and reform the very systemic structures that subjugate women. We need allies to do so. If we want to shift our policies, our politics, and civil societies for the better, we must advance spaces for women’s meaningful participation and holistically check our attitudes to help retool the system so that women who are most vulnerable can be seen, heard and ultimately, prosper. A commitment – one that belongs to men and women – to putting women at the front and centre involves inclusion in all fields and promoting a culture of true, earnest diversity beyond the visible. The mutual responsibility that binds us and benefits everyone.
Let’s be active in our listening – unarmed and in total union – be loud in what we believe and, in our everyday decisions, work to bring us closer to our highest ideals. No matter our differences, tribulations and paths – we build, we support, we fight, we care, we love. We do this side by side. That is our complete power.
Today and everyday, we celebrate the vast glory of a woman’s challenges and her uninhibited possibilities. The female spirit is ceaselessly alive and globally needed more than ever. Change starts with us. We stand UNDIVIDED.