This week I watched a documentary film that was so powerful that not only could I not dismiss it, I have barely thought of anything else since. Half the Sky presents the stories of women and girls from all over the world suffering from abuse, discrimination, slavery and unimaginable brutality. I felt the struggle and fight of these women so profoundly that I simply cannot ignore it- we cannot ignore it. It is unacceptable that any life, anywhere, suffers this kind of treatment. And it is unacceptable for women like us, who have access to opportunity, to just stand back and not fight for the basic human rights of the women who have none.
What is also alarming is that this problem is closer than you may realise. This same week Georgina Dent, editor of Women's Agenda, published an article entitled 'Violence against women: An ugly and unpalatable national emergency.' In it she reveals the shocking statistics of our own, revealing that "one in three Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15" and that "a woman is killed almost every week at the hands of her partner or ex-partner in Australia." In her article she highlights the truth that these acts of violence stem from a deep-rooted attitude towards women. They are seen and treated as objects and somehow inferior. Until boys are taught to respect and appreciate women and to see them as equals, this behaviour will continue- even in our own backyard.
You might call this a final straw, but basically- I'm fed up. I've been treated poorly by previous partners, I've seen friends and coworkers suffer under judgement for making personal choices about motherhood. I've heard countless men in the lunchroom 'jokingly' complain that the lunch their wife made them today was not up to their liking. It is there, hiding in the form of jest, but today I am here to say that using humour does not make it OK. Actually, the language and the jokes is where it starts.
I started this section of my website with the intention of helping women to build their own confidence to become entrepreneurs or to use their unique talents and voice to bring about change. Now I I feel it is time to crank it up a level. There are women and girls who do not have a voice and do not have opportunity. They are denied the right to an education, they are denied a right to freedom- and they need our help.
We have a voice. We have opportunity. We have a platform to be connected and to be heard. So let's be united, and let's make sure we do something to put an end to the oppression of women.
Are you with me? Let me know in the comments, I really want to hear from you.