What Women Want – Really

Posted on October 2, 2012


I remember that movie where the guy can hear what women were thinking, and it just drove him crazy. I think that in reality, it would be great if women’s voices could be heard by both men and women, young or old, wherever in the world they may be. It will probably drive everyone crazy, too, once everyone realizes that the fight for women’s rights is more than just women being whiny.

The fight for women’s rights is about not being raped on her way to school, simply because she is a woman walking by. It is about getting the education she deserves without fearing rejection from men. It’s about stopping the market for young girls as sex slaves and giving back the lives of those who have already been sold. It’s about getting justice for women victims and not putting the blame and shame on them.

Women and girls all over the world experience oppression in many different ways. I watched Half the Sky on PBS last night, and there were stories of different women from different countries and cultures who have experienced what I thought was the worst forms of gender inequality and oppression. Women were subjected to domestic violence, and police didn’t put enough effort to bring them justice. Girls from poor families were sold to brothels, forced to work, raped, and not given the opportunity to get an education. But what a supportive father said struck me the most. He said that if he missed a day of work, he’d be a little bit poorer, but if his daughter missed the opportunity to get an education, she’d be poor all her life.

I truly believe that education is the key that will break the cycle of gender inequality and oppression. But it is hard for girls to get an education when they have to walk for miles to school and risk being raped on their way, or when they have to work all day to provide for their families, or when they are locked in brothel rooms, forced to obey their clients and the brothel owners.

What I saw on Half the Sky last night was a testament to the brave spirit and the greatness that women have in them, in us. If only the world listened, understood, and acted, then maybe the world will be a better place for everyone.

Part 2 of Half the Sky will be aired tonight on PBS, again at 9pm/8pm CT.

Posted in: Poverty, Prevention, Women