2014, Another Year for Feminism

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Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes (pioneer feminists and activists) in iconic solidarity photo. 

A few weeks ago I found an article titled “28 Most Iconic Feminist Moments of 2013” (http://www.policymic.com/mobile/articles/76145/28-most-iconic-feminist-moments-of-2013).  It was inspiring to see women across multiple countries and cultures empowering women and fighting for their rights using a range of mediums. It made me think about the meaning of feminism and feminist in today’s world. Numerous expressions, concepts, and ideals, both positive and negative, encompass these terms.  For me, a feminist is an individual, who actively supports and empowers women and equal rights for both genders in all areas of life.  Feminism instead is the real change made and growth of feminists and their ideas, globally.  Admittedly, these general definitions can be altered and redefined to fit specific cases and ideals.  Some aspects cannot be changed, however, one thing is certain –  both feminists and feminism are manifested in society to support the power and developing roles of women.  Furthermore, both the number of feminists and feminism as a concept continues to grow globally and that’s what I really want to talk about, today.

From the link, you can see, actress Jennifer Lawrence teaches women to love their bodies, Bollywood star Mallika Sherawat slams the mistreatment of women through actions such as infanticide and rape in India.  Beyoncé, in her recent album, included a song called Flawless, which featured a speech by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who defined the critical and unreasonable differences between men and women. No one can ignore the truly outstanding actions of Malala Yousafzai, who stood up to the Taliban in Pakistan to support women’s education.  It would be incorrect to say that women fully receive the same treatment, respect, and rights as men, I am proud of the accomplishments and developments being made by these women, amongst others.

It is important to note that there are many more individuals, both male and female of varying ages and in regions that are fighting for women’s equal rights. Feminists and feminism undoubtedly continues to grow, a movement that I whole-heartedly respect and support. Although both terms are still controversial and often present a point of conflict, with time and effort I hope that men and women’s equality becomes a norm instead of an idealistic concept in our society.

At Asia Initiatives, we focus on the development and support of women in South Asia.  As a Junior Board member of Asia Initiatives, I am confident in the Executive Board, volunteers, donors, and our implementing partners.  I am also confident that these efforts will continue in a strong and relentless manner.  The growth of feminism is a powerful, progressive and completely POSITIVE movement, and I look forward to the success that I know it will bring in the future.

If you are interested in learning more about the incredible achievements of women globally look at these additional links:

http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/microsoft-celebrates-heroic-women-2013-inspirational-bing-ad-154717#!http://www.policymic.com/mobile/articles/76145/28-most-iconic-feminist-moments-of-2013

In wrapping up, I will leave you with a quote by Hilary Clinton: “It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of people, where their children’s and grandchildren’s fates, are decided.” 

Maya Daver-Massion, Junior Board Member


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