The Power to Change. How Women Can Lead the World
Mar 07, 2022|5Gender Equality
Did you know International Women’s Day is just around the corner? International Women's Day celebrates the efforts of women around the world and their achievements in medicine, the economy, education, and their communities.
International Women's Day also aims to increase awareness around gender equality. Gender equality can be defined as the state where access to rights and opportunities is unaffected by gender. In other words, gender equality ensures that girls and boys have equal rights and opportunities. To many of us, this might sound like the norm, right? Boys and girls have the right to participate in any sport, study anything they want, vote, decide their future, etc. However, this is not as easy as it sounds in some societies.
This is why this year's International Women's Day theme is particularly important to highlight. Let's #BreakTheBias. Visit them to find out how to participate - but remember to always ask for your parent's permission before taking part.
Strengthening Women's Participation and Leadership
Imagine not being able to decide what you want to do, say, or wear. Imagine not being heard. How would you feel? Sad? Angry? This is the reality for many women around the world who don't have a say in the decisions that impact their lives.
Barriers such as discriminatory laws, lack of access to education, and strict gender roles restrict women from participating in society and becoming leaders. However, women's decision-making participation is not just a right, but it is also key to sustainable development and economies. In a democracy, every part of the population must be equally represented. Having both men and women involved in decision-making increases creativity and innovation, diversifies opinions, reduces conflicts, and allows all members of society to be heard.
Women's participation also means women have power in decision making when it comes to responsible production of goods with equal wages and access to jobs regardless of gender.
Thankfully, women have broken the mold over the past few decades and have opened the path for generations to come. Thanks to these pioneering women, other women today can vote and become presidents and CEOs.
Young Women Making a Difference
Taylor Richardson, 18 - USA
Known as Astronaut Starbright on social media, Taylor was fascinated by the cosmos from an early age. Then, at age 9, she attended space camp, where she realized she was the only Black girl. This sparked a commitment in Taylor, who started to look into ways to help diversify STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
"Other girls need to know they can be astronauts".
To date, Taylor has raised more than $325,000 to introduce young women of color to science via space camp scholarships, book drives centered on Black authors and subjects, and tickets to films like Hidden Figures.
Taylor breaks the bias and opens the path for other young women to become astronauts.
Vee Kativhu, 23 - Zimbabwe / U.K.
Vee is a YouTube visionary, education activist and founder of the initiative, Empowered by Vee. She uses her online community to share tips and advice to help underprivileged and underrepresented women to recognize the power of their voice.
Tanya Muzinda, 17 - Zimbabwe
Taking on the male-dominated world of motocross, Tanya Muzinda has become her country's off-road circuits champion. Tanya started training when she was five years old. Now 17, she hopes to be the first black African to win a women's motocross world championship.
She inspires boys and girls of all ages with her talent and has become the first Zimbabwean woman to win a motocross championship since the competition started in 1957. And in 2018, she was crowned junior sportswoman of the year by the African Union. But that is not all. Tanya uses the money she makes from motocross competitions to do charitable work; recently, she paid tuition for around 100 students to attend school in Harare.
Natalia Pasternak Taschner, 45 - Brazil
Natalia, featured in the 2021 top 100 most influencing women in the world, is a microbiologist and science writer in Brazil with a PhD in bacterial genetics from the University of Sao Paulo. She brought crucial, life-saving scientific information to millions of people in Brazil during the Covid-19 pandemic through her press columns, radio and T.V. appearances.
The quality of her work led to her being invited to Columbia University, in New York, by world-renowned neuroscientist and science writer Stuart Firestein. This move not only has inspired many other young women in STEM careers but has also recognized the role of women in science.
Natalia is also the founder and current president of Instituto Questão de Ciência (Question of Science Institute), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting scientific evidence in public policies.
Together we are stronger. You too can become part of the many women who are breaking the bias every day. And the coolest part of it is you don't even have to be a girl to help make a difference towards gender equality. Men and boys must actively engage in recognizing equality and actively helping women's voices to be heard.
It is our responsibility as societies to work together, men and women, hand in hand in a responsible way to preserve the planet's resources.
Thinking Cap On
Imagine you and a group of explorers (3 men and 3 women) are sent to live in a newly established colony on Mars. You have a list of activities that need to be done regularly. You have to assign jobs to each member of the crew.
The jobs are:
- Garden/growing food
- Oxygen and waste systems maintenance
- Fuel and solar panel maintenance
How would you assign the jobs to each person?
What characteristics would you consider essential for each job/role?
Why do you think a male/female would be better for that job?
Now, imagine you have a problem with the water system and find that you don't have enough water to complete the mission. How do you all handle the situation? Do you vote? Does each vote count the same?
Break the bias and decide how you can change the world.