What is gender?

Blogpost writer: Jakub Wolf

This wednesday wasn’t just any old wednesday. You might have gotten out of bed, eaten your breakfast cereal, slapped on your favorite pair of  jeans and gone to work just like you would every day. But this day was special. It was March 8th a.k.a. International Womens Day.

This week in SDG X is a novel writing initiative to keep the network and the blog’s loyal readers up-to-date with a brief collection of news directly related to the Global Goals.

Unfortunately we live in a world where equality is still a dream rather than reality. Women have to fight every day, to stand up for themselves and make sure that the antiquated morals of the past centuries are forgotten, that in this modern world we live in, they can have the same opportunities and the same chances as any man.

But it’s a fight that isn’t easy to win.

It was Hillary Clinton who said “We need to make equal pay and equal opportunity for women and girls a reality so women’s rights are human rights once and for all.” And she’s right of course. Why should women be treated differently? Women are and have always been achieving incredible things. Now, some might say that we already have achieved equality. Women are represented in most sectors already so what else do you want?

Well, unfortunately it’s not that easy. It’s true that the fight for women has come a long way, but until the day where a woman is passed over for a job because of her gender, or being judged by the way she looks or what she wears, we shall never use the word equality.

On wednesday, Anne Hathaway, who serves as a U.N. global goodwill ambassador, spoke at the United Nations. She praised all the efforts of the people before us in the fight for equality. “Let us honor them and build upon what they started by shifting our language, and therefore our consciousness, away from gender and towards opportunity.”, she said.

Read that quote again and think about it. Imagine a world where the first thing someone notices about you isn’t your appearance and your gender. Imagine, they just see your talent and your potential and your morals. That is a world we can truly call equal.

There are many organizations that have already greatly improved their policies for equality. Hathaway is currently working to ensure paid parental leave for everybody, regardless of gender, in companies in the United States.

In AIESEC we value diversity. We have people from all different backgrounds and with all different stories. We have leaders who are women who are powerful and strong and inspire thousands of people. We try every day to rid the world of things like sexism, by contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 5 Gender Equality.

So I guess what I’m trying to say, is speak up! Whenever you witness any inequality, speak up. Whenever you feel like somebody is mistreated, due to their gender or otherwise, speak up.

In the words of Madeleine Albright: “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”

Are you being Bold for Change?


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