*A free-writing piece on women's rights. Written for an activity at the Gender Leadership Program (my 3-minute elevator speech).
Why Women's RIghts?
Think of Juana, your mother... and Maria, your favorite teacher... and Flora, your wife.
And then ask me... Why do we need to put women's rights at the heart of what we do?
I can tell you that it's because somewhere in the world, there is a Juana who silently endures the blows that her husband gives her because he got home drunk and wanting to have non-consensual sex.
I can also tell you that in Asia, there are a lot of girls like Maria, who would give anything to be in school and learn about science, and arts, and literature and music, and be with friends, both girls and boys her own age.
We need to put women's rights at the heart of what we do because in all countries in Asia, there is a Flora, who is a woman farmer. And like other women farmers, she has the double burden of providing food for their family, while taking care of their children and the whole household.
Because all over the world, more women than men are area dying and suffering from medical conditions just because they do not have access to basic health services.
Most especially, because inequality is happening... It is growing... It is a reality... It is a sad reality.
And unfortunately, it is Juana, Maria and Flora who are greatly affected by this inequality.
But they all deserve to have equal rights, equal access, equal resources and benefits, and equal power.
However, it's more than all that.
You are now part of this organization. In your work, I encourage you to think of Maria, Juana and Flora. And think of ways on how they will truly feel the impact of our work.
So again, I ask... why do we need to put women's rights at the heart of what we do?
I say because we should.
And more importantly, we can.
June 27, 2014