Fight for Women’s Rights: Still Far From Being Won?

The year 2017 is considered to be a critical moment and a phenomenal year for women’s rights. Beginning from the biggest march in the history of the United States, the Women’s March in January, to the social media hashtag campaign #MeToo in October.

Last year has been the remarkable year when women from different parts of the world united in order to show their anger and frustrations regarding different issues. Issues on sexual harassment and assaults, equality in the workplace, forced labor and slavery, protection for children, and other civil rights are just to name a few.

Women’s March

This year, the fight for women’s rights continues as another Women’s March was conducted last January 20 and 21. In the US alone, more than 2 million women in 400 different locations went out the streets and protested. Interestingly, the theme of this year’s protest was to generate energy from activists that had surfaced in 2017 in order to have more women vote and join the workforce. But unlike last year’s march, the number of people who joined is relatively fewer and not as strong as the previous. (Note: Women’s March in 2017 generated about 4 million women in 653 locations in the US alone).

Gender Parity in 2018

Indeed, the battle for gender equality has been going out for many centuries now. But despite the countless struggles made by various movements over many years, a lot of men (and even women) still believe that gender parity is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

In fact, according to the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report of 2017, it will still take more than 100 years in order to fully close this gender gap. Many analysts think that if women really want to have sustained change, momentum needs to be maintained.

Global Statistics

Aside from that, statistics in education don’t seem to be encouraging either. In some countries like Afghanistan and Chad, more than 50% of girls are not studying. The situation is worse in South Sudan where more than 75% of girls do not go to school.

Moreover, the reproductive health policies seem to be attacked as the US government has prohibited recipients (i.e. overseas organizations) of aid dollars from talking about abortion and other related issues with patients, leaving many countries with no developmental health assistance. This policy is known as the Global Gag Rule or the Mexico City Policy. Countries like Canada, The Netherlands, and Sweden tried to alleviate the negative effects of this policy by giving assistance but a large gap still needs to be closed.

Overall, these issues say that 2018 will be a tough year for women, and perhaps even more difficult and arduous than the previous year. Although there was a slight decline in the number of women who joined in the latest Women’s March, many still think that this shows an impressive show of strength and will have a possible significant impact in the future. Nevertheless, women are sure determined not to go backward and continue the fight for their rights.