As much as women have conquered rights, it is a fact that society still needs to walk a long way to, in fact, achieve gender equality.
Want a relatively recent example? On March 2, 2017, Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who has already made racist and anti-Semitic statements, did not hesitate to spew machismo in the European Parliament. And this almost on International Women’s Day.
According to Korwin-Mikke, women should earn less than men because they are “weaker, smaller and less intelligent.”
Even sounding outdated, this is a discourse that, unfortunately, is still present in our daily lives, in conversation circles and on social networks, proving that we still need to live in gender equality.
Here are some attitudes you can take to fight for this cause:
1. Help NGOs to combat violence against women
Most NGOs that aim to combat violence against women are continually in financial difficulties, although their work is essential to the fight for gender equality.
If you are unable to contribute financially, check with NGOs in your city to see if you can help by doing some kind of volunteer work, such as giving talks or organizing support events.
2. Interest in politics
Texting on Facebook has an effect among your friends and can even reach a large number of people, but in practice, it is in political institutions that gender rights are decided.
However, how can we guarantee our rights if we are even below Afghanistan in terms of the proportion of women in the House and Senate? In a ranking of 190 positions, Brazil ranks only 154th in terms of female participation in national parliaments.
Therefore, it is essential that women become more engaged in politics, follow the decisions of politicians and join parties that propose to defend gender equality.
3. Sign petitions and respond to Federal Senate polls
This is an attitude you can take without leaving your home: sign petitions and participate in Federal Senate surveys on bills.
Petitions are often organized by gender rights groups and delivered to congressional representatives. If you agree with the proposal, sign and share with as many people as possible so that they do the same.
In addition, be sure to participate in public consultations promoted by the Federal Senate, which survey the population’s opinion on bills. An example is this public consultation on the recognition of a stable union between people of the same sex as a family entity.
4. Report acts of violence
When witnessing attitudes of violence, don’t shut up – but do it safely so you don’t take risks.
Gone are the days when “in a fight between a husband and wife, one doesn’t get involved in the harvest”. Now, domestic violence is a matter for the police. If you know of a situation of aggression against women, file a report on Ligue 180.
5. Fight the pay gap
Unfortunately, it is still very common for women to earn less than men to perform the same service. If you’re a businesswoman, ensure that your female employees are paid the same salary as their male counterparts who perform the same role.
In addition, it is important to pave the way for women to occupy management and board positions, which are still dominated by men today.
6. Invest in children’s education
If we want the next generations of girls and women to have peace walking the streets, without being victims of sexual harassment and abuse, we need to invest in the education of our children.
Respect, the notion of consent and gender equality must be worked on at school, both for girls to know their rights and for boys to learn new attitudes from an early age.
7. Be a conscious consumer
Try watching the television commercial break and observe how many advertisements use the objectification of women to promote their products. Unfortunately, appealing to the exposure of the female body as a mere vehicle to attract attention is a common technique in advertising.
When you feel offended by an advertisement, you can contact the company itself or with Conar, the National Council for Advertising Self-Regulation, to file a complaint.
Also, of course, try to give preference to brands that stand in favor of gender equality.
8. Make your microuniverse aware
Promoting change around the world is an almost impossible task for just one person, but you can start by promoting an attitude change in the people around you.
You know that cousin who loves to tell sexist jokes? What about that friend who passes on intimate photos of women released without authorization? You don’t have to fight with them, but it’s worth talking and explaining that these seemingly innocent attitudes contribute to the perpetuation of female inferiority.
We all have our routines and responsibilities, however, if we act together, it will be possible to achieve progress in relation to gender equality. Do your part and encourage your friends to do the same!
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