On the 1st of May, 2019, I started a challenge after completing the Female and More Online Program. The program ran for 30 days and it was awesome. We read stories of female icons and how they made it to the peak of their careers. After reading, we all answered questions daily. It ran through 30 days. From there, qualified candidates who passed the first stage, that is, read and answered at least 23 icons were asked to proceed to the next stage-- organising an hangout to discuss what we learnt and all. I attempted that hangout but it failed because the students were not available. They were on break and I couldn't make them leave their parents' houses. Some people did, really and their hangouts were amazing as they shared pictures while some shared videos of their hangouts. From there, we proceeded to the SDG challenge! The 90-days challenge. We were asked to do anything on SDG 1, 3 and 5.
The 90-days SDG impact challenge was not supposed to run through 90 days. It might but not necessary. It could happen once in a month or once in the 90 days. However, I didn't know what to do. Yeah, I don't have much money to organise a program or start bringing people together. So, I ended up writing. Aye, I could do a 90-day challenge on Gender Equality tagged Equality for All! It seemed nice? Wonderful. I actually included teaching secondary school girls and boys on gender equality in my concept note which I started of course but I didn't finish. I couldn't make it through the first 30 days because my school was on break and I had to go home. That was in May. I returned back to school late June. Continuing that was difficult because the students were preparing for their final year exams which made them stop extra-curricular activities. So, I sticked to writing.
Really, I didn't know I could make it to today, day 89. I could remember when I started. It was tough! People had issues with the concept, Gender Equality and that prompted them to tag me names like feminist and some terrible tags. I wasn't moved though because I believe these people are ignorant and they need someone to expose them to that concept. You know how confident an ignorant who thinks they know what they say talk? That was how most scenarios were and I would just laugh and try to avoid all forms of argument.
I started with what feminism is and is not. Gender equality is not feminism, by the way. That was just like an eye-opener to what gender equality is all about. I proceeded to gender and sex because gender is not sex. The former is likely to change based on social structure while the latter is fairly constant. And gender equality is not boys becoming girls or women becoming men. It's giving equal opportunities to both sexes and not using their sex as a determinant to what opportunity, privilege or right they should enjoy. Interestingly, most people don't know that gender equality is already happening.
Furthermore, we discussed how gender equality affects the economy because it increases the GDP of the country and improves the standard living of the family. We moved further to discrimination in the workplace before we started discussing gender-based-violence.
Gender-based violence is the violence directed at a person because of their sex. Women and girls are victims of this which ranges from physical, psychological to sexual violence. This is because men mostly are taught to dominate, control and be aggressive. If an average man doesn't show that, he's considered less a man. Hence, to end Gender-based violence, we must educate the sexes. We must educate the males, especially.
We discussed so much on sexual violence because most people victim-blame which is wrong. It's a way of encouraging rape because victims will continually to be blamed for being innocent victims. It's sad! Rape culture shouldn't be encouraged. And consent must be sought before sex is done. Anything outside consent is rape as it doesn't necessarily have to do with violence or force. Also, sexual harassment in schools, the workplace and on the street is seen as a norm. Child marriage, female genital mutilation, sex trafficking and marital rape are considered trivial and they keep affecting the economy as they do more harm than good to the girls and women involved...
Gender equality is not a goal for just the women. It's not something the women should pursue alone. It's what the world needs to succeed. It's what we all need to have a healthy family and society. Gender equality is not making the female equal to the male. It's equality for all. It's giving equal access to both sexes. It's improving the standard living of all. It's reducing and eliminating poverty. It's delivering of children and taking good care of them because you have the means to due to gender equality inclusion. It's supporting the goal and doing away with rape culture. It's giving your spouse access to information and involving them in decision-making process. It's loving your spouse . It's sharing together. It's avoiding all forms of discrimination in relationships, marriages, workplace, schools and the society. Gender equality is making the world a better place... Isn't it worth supporting?
Thanks for reading.