Hi there internet buddies. To celebrate this year’s IWD, I asked some inspirational women i know to answer few questions about the current women situation around the globe. This post talks women rights, gender equality, the struggles we face on a daily basis, but also what the women’s right movement achieved in the last decades and how we can keep raising awareness regarding women equality. Make sure to read it all, share, like and discuss in the comment section down bellow.
The only way we can fight rape and harassment is by educating people. Education is the only way to teach respect and as long as there is respect for women in a society, there is less harassment. Then again, there will always be some sick individuals, and more severe laws should apply to them.
Amina Allam, model/fashion consultant/blogger and creator of Look by Amina Allam
Despite great strides made by the international women’s rights movement over many years, women and girls around the world are still married as children or trafficked into forced labor and sex slavery. They are refused access to education and political participation, and some are trapped in conflicts where rape is perpetrated as a weapon of war. Around the world, deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are needlessly high, and women are prevented from making deeply personal choices in their private lives. Birth control, discrimination at work, unequal wages, harassment… All of these issues are still up to date even if the calendar says 2015. But let’s not deny that a lot of progress have been made during the past decades. Women are starting to embrace their true nature, taking part in the development of the world as allies, not properties of a male dominated society. Half of the planet is starting to gain power and take part in economy and politics, which can only be beneficial to all of us. If the world lacks 1/2 of its population, the imbalance created can only lead us to injustice, crimes and ignorance. We need balance to grow stronger as a specie.
“Gender equality is an important issue indeed. Men have to understand that women are already strong, feminism is a movement that aims to empower the position of the woman, and to show to the world her power and magic to transform what’s around us. Everyone should get involved in this case, and not only women, through education and full understanding. Men have as well to be feminists and to support us to go further and to get our rights and total dignity. This way, mentalities and political parts will show palpable results and transmit a noble message to the future generations that values the position of the woman and position her exactly where she should be: beside the man.”
Ihsane Farahate, author of The future in his arms
1) As a woman, what do you think about where we are now on the road to equality?
Amina Allam, creator of Look by Amina Allam, actress, model, personal shopper and blogger from Morocco said that ” There’s still lots to do to offer same rights to women as to men, but I think that we’re getting there step by step. Many courageous women are fighting hard so that we can all have equal rights, but it’ll take time.”
Diane Morin, art teacher from Québec, blogger and nomad artist living in Morocco for some years now, says that “we see that it is through women that things change around the world. Think of the women who have been muzzled to prevent them from saying things clearly … when they get tired of this situation, they scream and fight so that no one imposes things on them anymore, to finally be free. It is obvious that the situation is dramatic if we think of Boko Haram as an eg. It’s all-out machismo.”
2) What do you think are the biggest challenges that women face nowadays?
Nadia Rhoujjati, a dear friend of mine, blogger and student, thinks the biggest challenge women around the world face on a daily basis is “the oppression caused by society, pushing women out of their limit to reach the society’s ‘stupid standards’.”
Furthermore, Amina Allam says she believes “the main issue is the patriarchal mentality. Many women still suffer from the way their fathers, brothers and husbands try to limit their doings on a daily basis. There’s still a lot of ‘what will others think?’ if you dress like that or if you go to a place like this. It’s as if a woman wasn’t worth the trust and was unable to judge for herself what is good for her and what isn’t.”
3) Lots of girls around the world are forced to get married at a young age, drop school and be the slave of a society that only sees sexual machines, mothers and wives in women. We’re lucky to have free will, choice and freedom, what can you say to the oppressed sisters who didn’t get the same luck?
Nadia Rhoujjati, gives a useful advice saying that women should “Keep fighting against society’s oppression, I’ve seen many women in the same case, but who did a great job and even surpassed men with flying colours.”
On the other hand, Diane Morin replies “Be strong, and get together with other women so you can be heard … Governments must also work to raise awareness, to give more rights to women, develop work areas that allow them to gain some financial independence. It’s from here that change needs to go.”
Moreover, Amina Allam insists “Stay strong! Things will be getting better – if not for you, for your daughters! It’s also up to women to educate their sons so that they understand the value of women and to offer them the respect they deserve. Men should learn to treat women the same way they treat their mothers and sisters.”
4) How would you define the term “feminism”?
Zineb Riboua, blogger and activist doesn’t quite believe in the term feminism saying that “Feminism is a philosophical ideology that was later resumed by the economic culture into a way of bringing women into the market to lower the price. For me, I do not fight for a particular gender, because I believe in the elevation of mankind without sexual distinction. feminism is a trend that will soon end, Human race: never.”
Nadia Rhoujatti thinks that “feminism is equal rights between the two sexes, respecting people’s personal choices (homosexuality, transgender, etc…). Feminism comes as a natural response against sexism and discrimination.”
5) Do you think media gives a superficial image of women? Many girls have issues regarding their body image and most of the time, the size zero image some celebrities give to the world is the reason behind it. How can a woman be free from this ‘beauty domination’?
Ihsane Farahate says that “Women need to gain self-confidence and to realize that the size doesn’t make the personality nor the value of the person. What really matters is the internal power and the core of each individual. It’s not about being skinny or fat, tall or short, white or black, the real beauty lies underneath in every woman’s heart and her charisma. Being beautiful is a lifestyle.”
Alejandra Estafania replies “Beauty standards created by the media can be traumatic for most women. Avoid falling in to that trap by accepting yourself the way you are, loving the body that you have created for yourself with exercise and good eating habits.”
“Dear woman, fight for your dreams, dress whatever and however the hell you want, respect and love yourself. By doing this, you will gain everyone’s respect. Your body is yours, not anybody’s, and finally: live your life without depending on anyone, without a single regret.”
Nadia Rhoujjati, blogger
6) As a woman, what image would you like to convey to the world?
“I am an independent woman at all levels and I refused compromise to keep my freedom. I live my dreams through creating and traveling and I refuse everything imposed upon me. I therefore refused marriage and motherhood, knowing that it could hinder my projects, which were already very clear in adolescence.”
Diane Morin, artist, art teacher and world traveller
Amina Allam replied “Since my blog is a fashion and beauty blog, I want to show to women that there are many ways to being beautiful. Not everybody needs to dress the same way, nor look the same. The most important thing is that she feels good and comfortable in her clothing and her style. A happy woman is a beautiful woman!”
Ihsane Farahate, my sister, and the author of “The future in his arms”, she’s the biggest feminist i know. She’s a confident woman who embraces who she is and works hard to get even better, as a woman, writer, citizen etc. One of her goals is to contribute effectively to the growth and improvement of our society.
Amina Allam, a big inspiration to me when it comes to fashion, health and beauty. Her style is classy, yet effortless. I count her among the women I see as Moroccan and Arab beauties, but also as an inspirational figure.
Alejandra Estefania, a mexican athlete I admire a lot. Her Instagram account is heaven when it comes to getting inspired and motivated, she trains so hard and gives such a strong and confident image to girls. Seeing her makes me want to flush out all the excuses and get to work. A modern-day Rosie The Riveter everyone should check out.
Diane Morin, my art teacher at ESAV Marrakech. She really inspires me as a woman, she is strong and knows exactly where she is and where she wants to be. Her dedication to art and travelling is really amazing, it shows just how independant she is as a woman, refusing the pre-set life “mariage, children, home” and chosing the path she wants to follow in her life, being her own road and quest.
Nadia Rhoujjati, a really (really) close friend who recently started her own blog, I can only be supportive. I admire her righteousness, morality and strength. She certainly portrays the modern woman, in all her power and beauty: a great friend, a good citizen, a restless student and such a hard-working woman.
And finally, but not least, my friend Zineb Riboua. She once sent me a really great song and told me “Good music for good people”, I appreciated her perception of life since then. She runs the blog Esprit Biscornu, and I’m confident she’ll do great things in the future. A woman worth knowing and listening to.