I believe that we are in the midst of one of the most pervasive genocides in history. The leading cause of death: being female. I believe that women have faced gender discrimination for centuries, making them the world’s greatest untapped resource, and that the key to economic salvation is investing in the female population – be it through microfinance, education or making resources like contraceptives available so that family planning is an option for all.
I believe that women’s status worldwide is gradually shifting – that more and more people are paying attention to the challenges women face around the world. I believe that tolerance for gender discrimination is dissipating, along with patience and hope that things will improve on their own. I believe we are gaining momentum in number, in volume, in scale.
I believe that tools such as Facebook and Twitter have granted us the opportunity to transcend cultural and demographic boundaries, infiltrate oppressive societies and connect with one another on a personal level, which in effect promotes democracy and the free-flowing exchange of ideas. I believe that these tech-based communities have allowed us to mobilize – gaining strength in number and the desire to stand up for our right to freedom, to peace, to education because they help us realize that we are not alone.
I believe that Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Melinda Gates and Malala Yousafzai, are more than just influential women from our era – they are representatives of our fight for justice and being included in today’s global society as equals. I believe that our voices, our thoughts, our involvement is absolutely essential in addressing major global issues, and that the world is slowly beginning to realize this thanks to these brave leaders.
I believe that issues such as rape, female genital mutilation and reproductive health issues, along with other forms of abuse and oppression against women, will remain major issues in today’s society as long as men are not part of the conversation. We cannot do this alone. We need men to stand beside us, to support us and to show the rest of the world that they recognize us as equals and as contributors to society.
I believe that we must stand together and push forward, break the glass ceiling and show the world what we are capable of because times are changing. We, as members of a human race, are changing, and our time is now.