You are what you wear

Mostly it were men who tried to decide what a woman was allowed to wear or not. In the past clothing was restricted by the views of the macho male society, where women often came on the second plane. Today there are still societies where women are paid less for the same function or same job. Equality is in many countries still not there.

 

A lot of men also consider a woman not yet able to decide for herself and therefore want to impose laws telling what women may not wear because otherwise they could be dominated by their own husband or family. By imposing restricting laws do they themselves not want to have enough power over women, and let others belief that really woman are not able to decide for themselves what religion to chose and how devout they want to be?

In a civilised society that claims to want freedom for all, freedom for religious thought and religious development should be allowed. We should not try to impose our religious ideas or morals to others and certainly when they are trying to be more dignified than the majority of the population which want to play with morals or not to take it so serious.

 

In our so called democratic free state everybody should have a voice which will be encountered with respect. Liberty should be given to each person to go on a search for spiritual and religious values. And we should know and respect that not all are on the same level at the same time. We should allow each person to be on his/her own personal spiritual and life journey.

 

Who has the right to impose our own ideas of spirituality and morality on other women and still claim that we live in a free world?

 

Today we listen to a 22 year old South African Muslim woman, (Sabeehah M.) who spent about 12 years growing up in Europe, as well as an additional 3 years there, pursuing higher education and residing alone in a different country to my parents and a opinionated and ambitious woman (Shaazia E.) who perhaps like dismantling stereotypes about women who wear lipstick, look at the burkini affair in Europe.

Shaazia E. finds that women have always been judged by what they wear and that we can find several times men staring and whispering about women.  Concerning the Muslim and Western women she notes also that may people wonder of their upbringing and how their covering or non-covering says a lot about that upbringing or about their limitation brought on by religion or by others.

 

She also looks at what happened on the French beach

On Wednesday, the article circulating of three armed men forcing a woman to remove her clothes on a beach in France shocked people into a semblance of humanity (Well, most people anyway)

And said

Nobody should have to go through such humiliation and violation for the sake of their beliefs. But before we look at the French government with disdain, we need to understand that the amount of clothing a woman is wearing is not parallel to her morality.

 

Sabeehah M. noted

If you want to cover up for comfort at the beach, you might just be forced to undress by armed police. {Look Out, It’s the Fashion Police}

So you want to cover your legs at school… GASP, the audacity, you should be sent home! {Look Out, It’s the Fashion Police}

 

The ladies point at a danger coming to Europe as well, the same we condemn in the East, but created also here a Fashion Police or a Moral police who can come to you to humiliate you in front of the general public. Or like some police officers came to ‘help’ to undress a woman because it went not fast enough according to their liking, perhaps they can beat her up as well?

Perhaps you reject ‘Sharia’ dress code as an arbitrary concept. Careful, you could be next in line for a flogging. {Look Out, It’s the Fashion Police}

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We remember from their writing

  • uncovered, = immodest + lower standards of morality = odd assumption that women alone must behave modestly.
  • whether in the East, West or somewhere between > if you’re a Muslim woman, > no say in what you wear. {Look Out, It’s the Fashion Police}
  • woman’s modesty = subject dictated, controlled, judged, imposed by men, without including woman in the design, marginalising woman from the discussion, and without woman’s consent. {Look Out, It’s the Fashion Police}
  • way you dress = influence people to be immoral + manifestation of how you have wrong morals. {Look Out, It’s the Fashion Police}
  • we judge each other’s morals based on the amount of clothing we are wearing every day
  • women can never win.
  • in Islam women are supposed to act and dress modestly >>> But so should men
  • why is this expectation emphasised + even imposed on women alone?
    A man should be covered from his navel to his knees in accordance with Islamic codes of modesty.
    A woman should cover her hair and conceal her body shape, only revealing her hands, feet and face.
  • modesty = to be two-fold, both external + internal.
  • careful of double standards of modesty

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Preceding articles

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Connection between women and environmental sustainability

Poverty and conservative role patterns

Women their education and chances to become a parliamentary

French showing to the whole world their fear and weaknesses

Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?

Islamism Rises from Europe’s Secularism

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Additional reading

  1. Women’s Groups Say Gender Equality is a Must for Sustainable Development
  2. Gender connections
  3. Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda
  4. What is Racism??
  5. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  6. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  7. Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised
  8. France and the Burkini
  9. Not limiting others but sharing peace with all
  10. What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?
  11. A charter for a truly free world and why we need it
  12. When will it stop
  13. ‘I try to keep my hate in check. If you can’t hate, you can’t love.’

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Further of interest

  1. Fomo, Jomo, Somo
  2. A Window to Look Through
  3. Would You Trust These People with Our Planet?
  4. Somewhere between the lines,we make a choice.
  5. The Morality of Firefly.
  6. Can You Be A Christian Doctor and Not Lose Your Morals
  7. Morality and Society: Why Secularists Do Not Need A Holy Text
  8. Why live a moral life?
  9. You Only Cheat Yourself
  10. Journey to Life
  11. “Progressives” Act as if Bigotry/ Racism are the Worst Sins —- No, It’s Pride
  12. Vladimir Putin: “One should not completely draw a line between the culture and the church.”
  13. The Good And The Bad
  14. Social, non-political, nudity observation
  15. Are Bathing Suits Harmful to Others?
  16. The Pastoral is Political: Don’t Tell Us How to Dress!
  17. Burkini a boon for Muslim women
  18. Bretons bathe fully clothed as Muslim asked to leave beach
  19. Here’s to your burqini
  20. French mayors dismiss suspended burqini ban
  21. The Burqini Ban
  22. British public heavily in favour of burqa ban: Poll
  23. To bare or not to bare
  24. Swimsuit Season : Burkinis and Man Boobs
  25. This letter to the editor has gone viral… #BanSuits
  26. Burkini Ban Suspended By French Court, But Sarkozy Says He’ll Keep The Law If Elected President.
  27. 9/11 Truth Movement celebrates Muslim women’s new French fashion style!
  28. Trying To Not Blog Politics
  29. Im-Politic: Immigration’s Essential – but Elusive – Assimilation Dimension
  30. What to Wear
  31. Wonder Woman’s Burkini
  32. What (not) to wear on a French beach this Summer
  33. Hugh Fitzgerald: Jean-Louis Harouel On France’s “Marche Vers Dhimmitude”
  34. Cannes burkini ban overturned after top French court ruling
  35. Burkini Bans: The Iconography of Attire
  36. Banal Ethnic Conflict and the Burkini
  37. Banning The Burkini
  38. Valls shouldn’t be surprised that there are whites who defend the burkini, ’cause it’s them who are bringing the muslims in.
  39. The Burkini is About Sexual Violence Against Women
  40. Let’s Do Secularism Right
  41. To wear or not to wear: the battle of the bikinis
  42. Belgian prime minister labels burkini ban as impractical
  43. Burkini and the Breast: Sisters in Feminism
  44. Can it Be Justified? The European Debate Over the Burka
  45. Le burkini: a national debate
  46. Burkini ban spikes sales
  47. Have I Been Hiding? No, Just Writing ElsewhereLe port du Burkini n’est pas anodin et c’est une marocaine qui le dit.
  48. Sous la plage les pavés

thesamoosarevolution

Women have always been judged by what they wear. In our society, the less clothing a woman wears the more she is considered immodest and indecent. A Muslim woman in shorts is a social pariah. Clusters of women or gatherings of men will stop and stare and whisper about her. She is looked at up and down. People wonder of her upbringing. People think because she is uncovered, she is immodest and has lower standards of morality. People have this odd assumption that women alone must behave modestly.

tumblr_mhos7etj9g1ro16hgo1_500

On Wednesday, the article circulating of three armed men forcing a woman to remove her clothes on a beach in France shocked people into a semblance of humanity (Well, most people anyway). I think what was the most striking was that the woman on the beach could have been us. It could have been me; it could have been you. It could have been…

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Women their education and chances to become a parliamentary

While in Jerusalem some ultra-Orthodox women may have their growing desire fulfilled to meet the standards of beauty in the secular society that surrounds them – without compromising the religious requirement for modesty, in several Muslim countries women are more and more pushed in the corner, not having any opportunity to have some beauty adjustments or to have their brains filled with more knowledge.

In Israel we do find a third of Jerusalem’s Jewish population belongin to the ultra-Orthodox community, known for its stringent observance of Jewish religious law, or halacha. Its members are strongly committed to preserving tradition, often by remaining separate and distinct from Israel’s secular majority. Many of them demand male-female segregation in public places; are intolerant of exposure of the female body; censor photographs of women in their publications and advertisements; and believe that men should not listen to female singers as this may arouse lustful thoughts.

Second to Israel in its receipt of American foreign aid Mubarak’s corrupt and often brutal rule could survive for 30 years thanks to U.S. taxpayers. There the women a few years ago like in Lebanon could walk freely and have to work hard like their male counterparts.  Only 18% of working age Saudi women are part of the workforce in their country where they are not allowed to drive a car. Saudi women earn an estimated $7,156 annually, while Saudi men made around $37,661 on average — one of the widest gaps globally.

Women made up almost half of the workforce last year, and yet were paid only 77 cents for every dollar men made. This wage gap varies considerably among states. Women in Maryland and Vermont, for example, make 85 cents for every dollar men make, while women in Wyoming and Louisiana make closer to 65 cents.

Income inequality is only one of the challenges women face, as is shown in a recent study by the Center for American Progress (CAP). The study, “The State of Women in America: A 50-State Analysis of How Women Are Faring Across the Nation,” examined the challenges facing women throughout the United States by measuring their economic security, prominence in leadership roles and the current status of women’s health issues. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the states that scored the worst in the country by these measures. {Click here to see which states are the worst for women}

In many countries we see, like in Mali, that Low educational attainment is a major contributor to gender inequality. Although educational attainment is poor among both genders, Malian girls and women are less likely than their male counterparts to be enrolled at each level of education. This disparity worsens at higher levels of education. In addition to a wide gender imbalance, the country has recently had to deal with considerable internal unrest.

In many Islamist countries we can feel the ground shivering by Islamic extremists who took advantage of the instability in those countries where the people did not agree any more with their government. The uprisings or coups are used by the fundamentalist as an easy target to get their dreams spread.

Iran, standing on the 7th place of inequality, received some of the lowest scores in the world for its gender disparities in economic participation. In the country, where in the sixties girls ran in bikini and took on all sorts of high jobs, just 17% of working age women participate today, against the will of the Taliban. Estimated earned incomes differ considerably between both genders, as well, with men earning nearly five times what women do. Politically, the nation is male dominated: Just 3% of members of parliament are women, and men outnumber women in ministerial positions ten to one. A recent report from a U.N. representative noted 30 female presidential candidates were all ruled ineligible for the country’s presidential election due to their gender.

To talk about that inequality in the jurisdiction of a country, standard bearer Malala Yousafzai, who first came to public attention in 2009 after she anonymously wrote an affecting BBC diary about life under the Taliban, came to Brussels to give a voice to all those oppressed women in the world.

This courageous girl was at 15 shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in October 2012 because of her campaign for girls’ education in her country which after Nigeria has the second highest number of unschooled children in the world. As young as 11 Malala began blogging for the BBC’s Urdu site, she brought a convincing voice writing about her ambition to become a doctor, her fears of the Taliban and her determination to not allow the Taliban — or her fear — to prevent her from getting the education she needed to realize her dreams. She got on television, where we could see the Taliban men standing behind at the wall, annoyed but not knowing what they should do. Her television debut in Pakistan was quickly followed with more opportunities to give women a voice in the East. She became a well known figure in Pakistan, but also a target for the Taliban who are totally against the woman having a voice at all.

The attack on her, a shocking act on a child (against Koran teaching) catapulted her to international fame. Today we still can see the damage in her face, caused by that dramatic assault, in which a militant boarded her school bus in Pakistan’s north-western Swat valley and opened fire, wounding two of her school-friends as well.

The attack on Malala exposed not only the dark side of an army unable to provide security but also the abysmal quality of education in Pakistan. Only 2.3 percent of its gross domestic product is allocated to education. Pakistan spends seven times more on its military. According to a recent U.N. study, 5.1 million children are out of school—the second-highest number in the world—and two-thirds of them are female.

Halima Mansour in the Guardian heralds Malala as a young “Pakistani heroine” for her bravery and independence.

“Malala doesn’t want to play to some western-backed or Taliban-loved stereotype. She shows us that there are voices out there, in Pakistan, that need to be heard, if only to help the country find democracy that is for and from the people, all the people.”

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States says:

“We have a national lie. Why do we have to tell the truth to the world?”

“The national lie is that the Swat Valley has been liberated from the bad Taliban. Young Malala and her father mess up that narrative.”

Indian schoolchildren pay tribute to Malala

Schoolchildren around the world voiced their support for Malala after she was shot

The Taliban almost made Malala a martyr; they succeeded in making her a symbol.

“Malala was the lone voice in that wilderness,” writes Feryal Gauhar in the local Express Tribune.

“Hers was the voice which made us consider that indeed, there can be alternatives, and there can be resistance to all forms of tyranny. Today, the attempt to silence that voice shall only make her stronger; the blood stains on her school uniform shall only feed the conviction that as long as there is breath and life, there shall be struggle.”

The story of her slow recovery, from delicate surgery at a Pakistani military hospital to further operations and a programme of rehabilitation in the UK, has since been closely tracked by the world’s media. Named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in 2013, put forward for the Nobel Peace Prize and has reportedly secured a $3m (£2m) book contract for her life story.

The memoir she is writing to raise awareness about the 61 million children around the world who are not in school indicates she accepts that unasked-for responsibility as a synonym for courage and a champion for girls everywhere. However Malala concludes her book, her story so far is only just beginning.

Two organizations representing private schools in Pakistan have banned her book, ‘I Am Malala’‎ from more than 40,000 schools across Pakistan. According to them the book is an insult to Islam and shows Malala herself to be nothing more than a tool of the West.

“The federation thought we should review the book, and having reviewed it we came to the decision that the book was not suitable for our children, particularly not our students,”

said the federation’s president, Mirza Kashif.

“Pakistan is an ideological country. That ideology is based on Islam…. In this book are many comments that are contrary to our ideology.”

Once again we see how the Pakistan government is pulled from one site to an other and how it is under Taliban dictatorship. The leaders of an important sector of the Pakistani educational world has chosen to ban Pakistan’s best-known and most loved proponent of education, not just in Pakistan, but all around the world.

Despite the largely secularist policies and intentions of Jinnah, Pakistan is still under the thumb of the holier-than-thou men in beards and turbans, men who always know more than anyone else, even the best educated, who are always closer to God than anyone else, and who reckon they know how to put their fingers on apostasy and unbelief wherever they rear their ugly heads. Even if they don’t raise their heads, the mullas can always make them up.

writes Denis MacEoin of the Algemeiner.

Now after her near-fatal attempt to silence the 15-year-old, she is more dangerous to Pakistan’s status quo than ever before and the Taliban is still trying to get her silenced. The world is willing to give this girl a voice and recognises what she has done for womanhood. For some it is very difficult to understand that gender equality may drive development (rather than the other way round).

for The Guardian wrote on Wednesday 30 October 2013 on Malala Yousafzai’s fearless and still-controversial memoir:

Malala Yousafzai

In Arabic, “revolution” is a feminine noun. This is fitting, as without women revolutions are sterile. They have no movement, no life, no sound. Urdu, a distorter of tongues, pilfering as it does from Persian, Hindi, but largely Arabic, uses the masculine word for coup d’etat – inqilab – for revolution, rather than the accurate feminine: thawra. Perhaps that’s why the Taliban were confused. Perhaps that’s why they imagined that shooting a 15-year-old girl would somehow enhance their revolution.

As the newly released 2013 Global Gender Gap Index — which measures gender parity in 136 countries — reminds us, gender equity isn’t simply a matter of equal rights.

From her book we can also see how dangerous it can be when there is no power fairly shared among the provinces of a country.  there is not only the deepening ethnic imbalance so profound that only an extraordinary common enemy could distract from it. The burgeoning power of the Taliban in today’s Pakistan should not be much of a surprise to those who understand, as Malala does, the need to redress these ethnic wounds.

After she got got the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought she did not leave Belgium to leave it like it was before. Next she continued to speak in the parliament at the congress of the WIP: the Women in Parliaments Global Forum (from 27-29 November 2013). At that meeting is looked at reshaping society through female leadership; female empowerment for peace, security and integrity; impact of elected women in parliaments; fight against corruption; delivering on gender equality; gender studies in academics; and the use of technology and women’s political participation.

The intention of the summit is to consider the position of the woman in our society and how she can play a role in the development of the economical and political field of a country. Those countries bridging the gender gap will also receive awards for their leadership in this important task.

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Read more about the congress in Brussels:

Milestones for women ordered

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Please do find additional literature:

  1. Rise of the ‘secret’ ultra-Orthodox Jewish beauty salons
  2. The 2013 Time 100
  3. The Target
  4. The earth bleeds for Malala
  5. When gender inequality is good economics
  6. Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda
  7. Update: Malala Yousafzai “The Girl’s Hero:” The Ironic Gift of Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year Award

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  • Leonard Pitts: Malala Yousafzai’s courage (miamiherald.com)
    You may not listen to music or sing. You may not read. You may not leave the house except under certain strict conditions. You may not watch movies or television. You may not aspire. You may not learn.These are the strictures the Taliban seeks to impose upon women and girls in the places it infests, including the Swat Valley in Pakistan. And when she spoke against those strictures, when she gave interviews and wrote a blog asserting her right to learn and to be, Malala Yousafzai made herself a target of those men, one of whom boarded her school bus last October with a gun and asked, “Who is Malala?” None of the girls spoke, but a few glanced toward Malala and the gunman had his answer. He raised his pistol — it was a Colt .45 — and fired three shots. One bullet went through a girl’s hand. Another ended up in a girl’s right arm. And one went through the socket of Malala’s left eye.
  • Malala, Pakistan, and Israel (algemeiner.com)
    She has been given enough prestigious awards to last her several lifetimes, and may well enter the Guinness Book of Records for their sheer number. She has been received by the U.S. President and the Queen of Great Britain, by Prime Ministers, and innumerable dignitaries everywhere. She has spoken to the General Assembly of the United Nations. No matter where she goes, people listen to her. She talks of peace and education, and her message goes deep. Instead of silencing her, the Taliban turned her into a megaphone to trumpet aloud the emptiness of their philosophy.You would think the Pakistanis would love her to bits, and, of course, large numbers of them do. She’s bigger than all the Qawwali singers put together. Her name is everywhere. One day, she could stand for the post of Prime Minister. And God help the Taliban if that day ever dawns.
  • The creation of a Malala (maheshwarigangadhar.wordpress.com)
    The title of the autobiography, I am Malala itself indicates that the main idea is to present people with a photograph of the girl and tell them that she is Malala, with nothing else being revealed. She is the girl who spoke against the Taliban, but not the only girl; a fact that the world has not been enlightened with. Idolising her father, and with an interest in politics, Malala today is the West’s role model of what a young, school-going, oppressed (by Taliban) girl would be, if she ever spoke up and made herself evident to the world. She becomes a commodity through which the West can maintain an argument of international relations with a prosperous outcome and likewise.
  • Girls’ education in Pakistan – Malala Yousafzai (libraryeuroparl.wordpress.com)
    During their brief rule over the SwatValley, the Taliban destroyed more than 400 schools. More than half of these were girls’ schools. They argued that women (and girls) should stay in the home. The European Parliament stated in a 2012 resolution that violent extremism in Pakistan continues to impede the rights of girls. Since the government regained control of the region in 2009, it has rebuilt most of these schools, but there is still high inequality: there are 717 primary schools for boys, but only 425 for girls. Talimand Khan, from a Pakistani think-tank, adds that along with the number of schools, the quality of education has to be improved, too; some Pakistani religious representatives stated in interviews that girls should not receive the same education as boys, but be prepared to become ‘obedient’ wives and mothers.
  • Inspiration or danger? Private schools in Pakistan ban Malala Yousafzai’s book – The Independent (independent.co.uk)
    Yet in Pakistan, the reaction to Malala and her book has been mixed. Many have claimed she has been used by the West for its own interests. The Taliban threatened to attack bookshops that stocked it.Mr Kashif, who said 25 million pupils attended private schools in Pakistan, claimed that in the book Malala had defended the writing of Salman Rushdie on the grounds of free speech and had failed to use the abbreviation PUH – “peace be upon him” – when referring to the prophet Mohamed. He said there was a sense that Malala had not written large parts of the book, because it referred to things that happened before she was born.Observers say the ban comes amid discussions in Pakistan about Malala’s actions. It also follows recent controversy at a celebrated Lahore private school that started teaching sex education.
  • Education is a right, not a privilege. (laurenradmer.wordpress.com)
    The most valuable gift any person can receive is an education. In many African and Asian countries, women are discouraged or even forbidden from obtaining an education, in an attempt to spread male dominance and keep women ignorant. Many of these countries, including Pakistan, impose force and violence against women. According to a documentary created by the Department for International Development titled “Afraid and alone: Violence against women in Pakistan”, a woman in Pakistan is raped every two hours, 4,500 women experienced violence during the first 6 months of 2009, and roughly 1000 women are murdering in “honour killings” each year.
  • Malala (exploredreamexamine.wordpress.com)
    From my perspective, the gender gaps in women’s education Malala discusses are far closer to home than Pakistan is. As a student at an all-girls school that focuses on educating girls, I’m lucky. Girls don’t fall under the radar here as much as in co-ed schools, but are encouraged to take math, science and subjects typically considered to be “male- dominated.” But both in schools and in the workforce in the US, this is still a problem. Women are still paid less in the professional world, even when equally qualified as their male counterparts. Girls still are expected to be “worse” in math and science. Often stereotypes dominate our culture so much, it is hard to remove them.
  • Women need a voice and a seat at the table (theguardian.com)
    This week, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA) will bring together parliamentarians from around the world to discuss the post-2015 development agenda, with a conference on gender equality and women’s empowerment.Part of CPA’s work is aimed at empowering women leaders. This is about tackling a basic injustice, but it’s also critical to making the best, most informed decisions about poverty.
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    While most international leaders are happy to make a broad commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment, they have been too vague on the detail of what should be done and how. It is imperative that countries commit to specific, measureable outcomes, because, in the words of Hillary Clinton: “What gets measured gets done.”
  • Why Gender Equality Is Not Just About Equal Rights (theage.com.au)
    Women of the world: pack your warmest sweaters, and head immediately to Iceland.According to a newly released report from the World Economic Forum [pdf], Iceland is the No. 1 country in the world for gender equality, for the fifth year in a row. And that equality is helping propel Iceland and its fellow Nordic nations to new economic heights. Turns out, the smaller the gender gap, the more economically competitive the nation. Even when that nation is totally freezing.(The report puts Australia at 24th place on the gender gap index, just below the United States but below Burundi, Cuba and New Zealand. Australia has moved up in the ranking one position from last year, but that’s not so good when compared with the No. 15 ranking achieved in 2006.)
  • Gender Equality and Equality (aclarioncallforgenderequality.wordpress.com)
    he’ and ‘she’ they both have quality,
    they both have ability
    so we should prefer gender equity and equality….!

Poverty and conservative role patterns

In the industrialised countries sometimes we can not help to get the impression that women are still more than once looked at as a lust-object.

Until the second half of the 20th century, women in most societies were denied some of the legal and political rights according to men. It has taken a very long time before women got the right to vote and to have their say in the house, community, village, city, country. In many industrialised countries the women got interesting positions but are not yet equally paid and do have to prove themselves twice as hard than the men. They may be allowed to share their thoughts and may have gained significant legal rights, we still can not neglect that women still do not have equality with men. This is evident at home, at their workplace, and in society in general.

In the 1890s when gender role reversals could ...

In the 1890s when gender role reversals could be caricaturized, the idea of an aggressive woman who also smoked was considered laughable. In 1929, Edward Bernays proved otherwise when he convinced women to smoke in public during an Easter parade in Manhattan as a show of defiance against male domination. The demonstrators were not aware that a tobacco company was behind the publicity stunt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The traditional role of man was to work and make money, which would be used by all in the household. The traditional role of the woman was to stay at home, take care of the children, clean the house, and cook. Because society has always associated money with power, the person bringing home the money had the power. The man often made the final decision on all household matters because he had the money. Women were treated like they were property of men, with no voice about their own fate.

In many countries there are still more job offers for men and is it still easier for a man to climb the social ladder. A man can have both a family and a successful career whereas women who want to fulfil themselves as professionals have to sacrifice their personal life in most cases or, if they choose to have a family as well, they are sometimes regarded as bad mothers because they do not allocate 24 hours a day to raising their children.

Our society takes it for granted that the woman should take care for the children. The woman is made to take care of her own personal life and as a mother, she also has to take care of her children´s life. Lots of man still want to keep up their ‘higher position’ and look down at women who want to step onto the ladder of progress and a better position in business. On the other hand others do find the women who stay at home are lazy and are not willing to contribute to the welfare of the family, where the man should be the one who has to decide everything and the wife only has to follow his will. but many  of the contemporary society do not see that the person wanting to stay at home to take care of the children and the household should not at all be idle. the important task of bringing up children looks to be one of the most neglected tasks of this age. Women will always be important to society because they bring a sense of love, and emotion, and for this reason at least, society should start considering their situation more carefully.

Lathe operator machining parts for transport p...

Lathe operator machining parts for transport planes at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, USA (1942). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our society has to become more aware that there is no superior or inferior person. We are all the same, created in the image of God the Divine Creator, so to consider that women are not as good as men is very wrong. Only to give women lesser roles to play in our society is not showing the full respect the woman deserves. We also should teach children that women can not be inferior just because they’re not men. Typecasting also can be a very dangerous sport. Women can do whatever a man can do and parents should let male and female children swap duties and play with the toys they would like to play with. In case a boy wants to play with puppets or dresses they should allow them, but should never try to impose on those children that because they prefer to play with puppets, that they would be gay.

Lots of gender problems we encounter today are provided by the specific typecasting of women’s and men’s roles, in the previous years. It is our willingness how to look at women and men which is going to decide how  people are going to treat others, also those who have a gender complexity or gender questions. The role of women in our society may have changed significantly and positively in the past three decades, but we still may find that girls are pushed by their parents in certain fields of study. Though we must be honest, in countries like Belgium, women do receive many opportunities and are challenged in all sorts of fields which fifty years ago were considered male jobs. A minus point in Belgium is that for several jobs done by women, they are still paid less than men, and that should be corrected.

Child care arrangements for children under age...

Child care arrangements for children under age 5 with employed mothers (by income); low income is defined as below 200% of the federal poverty level; source of data: http://mchb.hrsa.gov/mchirc/chusa_04/pages/0310wm.htm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Women and girls may have many more opportunities and face different challenges today, but often men leave them behind with the children, creating very difficult situations to avoid poverty. When we consider 60% of the average national income and the inability to receive enough income to pay for rent and living costs to be the poverty line than we notice that 14.7% of Belgians live below the poverty line, and that 22% of the women face poverty. Today Belgian industry should shame itself that it is possible that bakeries can ask 2,65€ for a brown loaf of 600 grammes whilst the person is only receiving 822 euros per month for singles and 1,726 euros per month for a couple with two children. Who can live on such a low income when we have to face rents of 750€ to 1200€ for a small flat?
In Belgium, one in seven people have to do with less! Increased energy prices and rising rents and housing affect our purchasing power and especially people with low incomes are there to suffer.

Risk factors for insecurity and poverty include divorce, economic dependence on a ( new ) partner, very low skills, long-term unemployment or weak employment situation, a debt mountain, old age. Retired persons are having it more difficult to cope and are not allowed to earn much extra or they loose their retirement premium. Because women are still living longer than men, they are the worst victim in that poverty range.

That there is still gender inequality we can see at the number of single mothers who take more than 80 % of single-parent families. Female heads of households are at high risk to be below the poverty threshold. After all, they accumulate the problems of struggling families where there is only one breadwinner with the weaker socio – economic position of women and the inefficiency of the social protection, such as inadequate protection of the unpaid care work and too limited compensation for the cost of children.

Married women staying at home form a larger and hidden group under the insecure women. Because of the generalization of the two-earner position the double income has become the average income welfare standard. The shrinking number of working women at home without income or benefit concentrates more and more among the low-skilled women with several children and by parents who made the choice that it is more important to have a spiritual upbringing than a material upbringing. For these women the benefits of a professional job outside the house do not outweigh by the accumulation of work and family responsibilities. Moreover, their lack of education and work experience and their economic dependence on a partner makes them a particularly vulnerable group .

Older single women are affected by the income -based pension. The wage gap against women in the labour market and by an incomplete career as a result of caring for children and relatives, many women receive in retirement hardly the statutory minimum. The fear of not going to receive any allotment making it possible to live properly when retired makes that many women do not want to take on house-duties, and prefer to have their children placed in childcare, while they can create a better and often a more than necessary income for the family.

The legal form that it is not necessary to have the marriage bond of man-woman, but that people can choose either to have a same gender matrimony or a looser living-together or cohabit contract, where people can more easily and legally swap partner, makes the position for the female person even weaker. We only can observe that in the end it seems in most cases the women are left with the children.

In the new-constituent families with the same sex parents, we can find similar questions coming up for whom is going to be the one who takes care for the behavioural education. They also will be looked at by others when one of the partners chooses to take care of the children and to give them special personal love and that extra education the schools are not providing any more.

Photo taken by me as an example of a stay at h...

An example of a stay at home dad and kids. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The number of stay-at-home dads began gradually increasing in the late 20th century, especially in developed Western nations. Though the role is subject to many stereotypes, and men may have difficulties accessing parenting benefits, communities, and services targeted at mothers, it became more socially acceptable by the 2000s, but now it starts loosing interest again because it becomes financially more difficult to survive when there is only one person working in the household.
There are now financial ramifications in deciding whether the mother or father should become the stay-at-home parent. In cases where the woman is the higher-paid parent, it makes more economic sense for her to continue to work while the man takes on the caregiver role.

With the growth of telecommuting, many men are also able to work from home. this made that either the woman or the man can work at home and be there for the children. Differences in parent‘s schedules can also account for some of the stay-at-home dads. Sometimes the father works odd work shifts while the mother has a typical nine-to-five work schedule.
Some retired males who marry a younger woman decide to become stay-at-home dads while their wives work because they want a “second chance” to watch a child grow up in a second or third marriage.

The choice of one of the partners, be it a man or a woman to stay some of the time or most of the time at home, is not looked favourably by the present generation. Those who make such a choice often have to face a very negative attitude from the society around them.

The patronizing attitude taken on by many, makes it difficult for many parents to choose for bringing up their children with the Law of God and getting them to know the Word of God.

Those families who do find it important that their children feel the warmth of a caring family, finding a parent at home when they return from school, receiving that extra information about the Higher Being, are confronted with the negative attitude of our contemporary society for the ancient ‘woman role’ of ‘housewife’, or the contemporary position of ‘houseman’.

It is true that, when we want to be a Christian family, we shall have to make the choice of diving our time between, work, school, leisure time and worship time. This will demand economical sacrifices, but there we should consider what would be the more valuable. Shall the ability to go twice or three times abroad on holiday, having the newest generation of i-phone or tablet, bring happiness?

When we want to be a Christian family should we keep to conservative role patterns? No, Christians also should evolve with time and should be aware of the possibilities they can get to work together as equal partners creating a safe home-ground for their children. They also may look at the Old and New testament examples of how women and men divided their task between each other.

The conservative Christians who do find that women do not have to play any part in decision making and/or in teaching the Word of God, should look better at the many examples given in the Holy Scriptures where women proved a very good asset in the upbringing of children and teaching them the Word of God.

Because that Word of God does not receive enough attention any more in our regions we as parents shall have to make choices and shall have to divide the duties at home to create enough opportunities for both partners to develop professionally well, and to develop as partner and parent, trying to create a place where the Word of God can receive the appropriate place. To succeed in such matter, financial sacrifices shall have to be made, as well as the making of the choice who will spend time at home with the children when. The father as well as the mother should each take some duties in the household and man also shall have to accept that the woman also shall work at the spiritual well-being of the child.

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Previous articles:

European Parliament stands for human dignity

Dignified role for the woman

Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive

Connection between women and environmental sustainability

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Related:

About the poverty our world is facing now you may find:

  1. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #1 Up to 21st century
  2. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #2 First two decennia of 21st century
  3. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  4. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #4 The Family pact
  5. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #7 Education
  6. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #8 Work
  7. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  8. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #10 Health
  9. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #11 Participation
  10. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #12 Conclusion
  11. European Year for combating poverty spurred mobilisation and commitment
  12. Capitalism downfall
  13. Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system
  14. Nearly 50 milion poor North Americans
  15. To Work Longer or Die Younger
  16. Demonizing families in poverty and misleading actions
  17. Jerez not an exception of poverty in Spain
  18. Poverty a European Issue
  19. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  20. Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
  21. Bible Guidelines for a happy marriage
  22. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
  23. Being religious has benefits even in this life

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  • Census Says: Women Are Still Getting the Short End of the Stick (US) (feimineach.com)
    In 2012, women were statistically much poorer than men. And women that were already poor in 2011 stayed that way.
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    one in seven women live in poverty. One in seven. That’s almost 17.8 million women – or 14.5% of the female population. For men, this percentage is lower, at 11%.
  • Recalibrating the poverty line (blogforarizona.com)
    Our definition of poverty, Schwarz says, was calibrated in the 1960s and it’s in need of recalibration. Then, food was a third of an average family’s budget, and the poverty threshold was set at 3 times the cost of an adequate food diet. Today, food is one-sixth of an average family’s budget, but the poverty line is still set at three times the cost of buying food for a family.The poverty line is set at $23,500 for a family of four. According to Schwarz, it should be closer to $41,000.
  • Who’s Job Is It Anyway? (transnationalplanning.wordpress.com)
    how much women were able to thrive in an environment where the men were somewhat “absent”, that is to say, they were not engaged in the affairs that these women were tackling for whatever reasons. Patel & Mitlin stated: “Most of the most powerful women leaders came from among the lower-income and most socially disadvantaged neighborhoods, in part because in these areas the man had given up.” It was amazing to see the role that these women were playing in their communities. Without them, who knows how much worse things would be for their families.
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    Perhaps what we need is not a clear demarcation of what each respective gender should be capable of doing but rather the unhindered opportunity for anyone to be able to address a need. This needs to be an approach accepted by both men and women. In a symbiotic relationship, each member does what is necessary because all will benefit from it. No one stands on ceremony and debates or dictates roles. It just gets done.
  • The disease of poverty is a doctor’s business everywhere (janeparry.wordpress.com)One fifth of Hong Kong’s population lives below the official poverty line. This was set for the first time in September 2013, at 50% of median monthly household income before tax and welfare transfers.Hong Kong has one of the highest per capita GDPs in Asia and ranks 11th globally, yet its Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, indicates it has the worst income disparity in the developed world. The announcement of the poverty line and that there are 1.3 million people living below it has been big news in Hong Kong, but it hasn’t generated the sense of righteous outrage that such a statistic should.
  • The Shocking New Study On American Children In Poverty (davidmixner.com)
    In America, 22.5% of our children live below the poverty line. That is also one out of every four children! That comes to 16,400,000 children living without their basic needs of food, shelter, clothes, education, etc being met by our society.
  • Women, Indigenous Australians identified in poverty report (abc.net.au)A 10-year study has found Australia’s most disadvantaged are more likely to be women, Indigenous, and have health problems.To coincide with national poverty week, researchers at the University of Canberra have released a study which tracked 900 people for a decade, who were identified as marginalised in 2001.

    The study found 60 per cent of those identified by the study as marginalised in 2001 had escaped those conditions by 2010.

  • New Book Shows How to Curb Intergenerational Poverty (prweb.com)A new book, Parent Power: The Key to America’s Prosperity, by Dr. Jack Westman reveals the power parents have to create America’s productive citizens. They also have the power to create social problems in the context of intergenerational poverty.Dr. Westman calls attention to the fact that one-third of children and youth in the United States are failing in some aspect of their lives. The United States is at the top of the list of developed nations in child abuse and neglect and the bottom in educational achievement.

    Five children die every day from abuse in the United States. Three million referrals are made to child protective services every year.

  • When gender inequality is good economics (globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com)
    While we know that individuals, economies and societies would benefit from gender parity in the long term, gender inequality is often a perfectly rational choice for individuals in the short term.
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    Gender imbalances, and their resulting economic consequences, are still startlingly visible everywhere, from the developed world to emerging markets.

Connection between women and environmental sustainability

Girls’ Globe has as its mission to raise awareness and educate others about global issues concerning the rights, health, and empowerment of women and girls.

For them the answer to what exactly is the connection between women and environmental sustainability is quite simple, but maybe not so obvious.

Women give birth to children, the world’s population is growing rapidly and the human race is fast leading to potentially devastating environmental consequences. The connection between women and environmental sustainability lies in the fact that if we’re overpopulating our planet and women are having more children than they are prepared for, these factors will have serious long-term environmental impact. The good news is that the situation can be remedied in large part by education, access to birth control and the empowerment of women to make their own family planning choices.

The Swedish non-profit organization does find that all women and girls should be free to live to their full potential, free from all forms of violence and discrimination. All women and girls should have access to their human rights, including access to health, education and justice.

Often the right to decide over their own body is not given to the women.

Women don’t just raise, educate and teach habits to children; they raise, educate and teach habits to the next generation who will inherit and be responsible for this planet. As Suzanne Ehlers from Population Action International said at the Post-2015 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, and FP2020 meeting, hosted by the Wilson Center Environmental Change and Security Program, Center for Environment and Population (CEP), the Sierra Club Global Population and Environment Program and the Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, climate justice frameworks will not work without women.

English: Nicholas Pileggi and Nora Ephron at t...

Nicholas Pileggi and Nora Ephron at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1996, Nora Ephron, known for her wit, humour and candor regarding womanhood, gave a commencement speech to the Wellesly graduating class which emphasized the importance women have in defining not only their own lives, but those of the girls following behind them.

Don’t underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women and how many people wish we could turn the clock back. One of the things people always say to you if you get upset is, don’t take it personally, but listen hard to what’s going on and, please, I beg you, take it personally. Understand: every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you. Underneath almost all those attacks are the words: get back, get back to where you once belonged. When Elizabeth Dole pretends that she isn’t serious about her career, that is an attack on you. The acquittal of O.J. Simpson is an attack on you. Any move to limit abortion rights is an attack on you — whether or not you believe in abortion. The fact that Clarence Thomas is sitting on the Supreme Court today is an attack on you.

According to the Girl’s Globe Ephron’s ability to admit the obstacles we still face is both refreshing and intimidating.

The idea that we have not yet achieved quality, after so much time and effort, is an uncomfortable one, especially when it is possible to trick ourselves into the illusion of equality through the progress some countries have made.

Girls’ Globe supports and will continually promote the equal rights of all human beings, as listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Girls’ Globe is also a strong supporter of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Gendercide is still commonplace, rape victims are still blamed for their assaults, young girls are still denied an education and sexual slavery is increasing, not decreasing, we still have a very long way to go to have the women placed on equal lines with men.

File:Gender equality.pngGirls’ Globe would like to see that women will be educated on sustainable alternatives to current environmentally unfriendly practices and provide an alternative and educate and empower women on family planning so they can educate their communities and become empowered in their everyday lives.

Environmental sustainability must be framed from a justice and rights-based approach backed up with accountability that has teeth. Health, including reproductive health and environmental health, must be considered basic human rights for all, including women and the future generations.

WDD

The panel from the Women Delivering Development Meeting from left to right: Sean Peoples, documentary director; Kim Lovell, Sierra club Global Population and Environment Program; Mary Mavanza, Jane Goodall Institute; Suzanne Ehlers, FP2020 and Population Action International; D. Carmen Barroso, International Planned Parenthood Federation; and moderator Vicy Markham of the Center for Environment and Population.

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Please do find:

Women Delivering Development: Reproductive Health, Environment and the Post-2015 Agenda

Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda

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Women’s Equality Day – celebrating women’s rig...

Women’s Equality Day – celebrating women’s right to vote (Photo credit: Fort Wainwright Public Affairs Office)

 

  • Post 2015 Agenda on Sustainable Development UN Agenda To Address Asia-Pacific Problems – OpEd (eurasiareview.com)
    The UN Post 2015 Agenda on Sustainable Development will include important points raised by civil societies of Asia and Pacific region. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) assured to include some important suggestions in the new agenda to address major issues of the region. The approach of to the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal must create a constructive path to addressing environmental justice and civil societies emphasize it.
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    Civil societies urges UN to support common but different responsibilities and development justice by giving communities a say in determining their own development paths and priorities; supporting the increased consumption of poor people in the direction of addressing their needs for food, health and housing.; creating better understanding of economic activities to realize social equity and greater regulation of the social economy and not relying on market-based solutions in reorienting the economy and changing the behaviour and lifestyles of the public and thrusts on lobbying on governments and multilateral bodies so that economic development policies made at the national and international levels are oriented towards development justice.
  • Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda: A foundation for sustainable development (post2015.org)
    The OECD has recently released a new paper on gender equality and the post-2015 agenda, entitled “Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda: A foundation for sustainable development”. Read summary points in:Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda
  • Education Is A Basic Human Right (affordableschoolsonline.com)
    According to the UN, education is a right, like the right to have proper food or a roof over your head. Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to education”. Education is not only a right but a passport to human development. It opens doors and expands opportunities and freedoms. It contributes to fostering peace, democracy and economic growth as well as improving health and reducing poverty. To this end, the United Nations began an initiative to make the universal right to education more of a global reality. Coined Education for All (EFA), the ultimate goal of the program is sustainable development.
  • Oh, the Humanity: Is the Threat of Overpopulation Still a Big Deal? (scientificamerican.com)
    Ever since Thomas Malthus published “An Essay on the Principle of Population” in 1798, positing incorrectly that humans’ proclivity for procreation would exhaust the global food supply within a matter of decades, population growth has been a hot button issue among those contemplating humankind’s future. Indeed our very success going forth and multiplying, paired with our ability to extend our life expectancy, has meant that we are perpetually pushing the limits of the resource base that supports us.
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    population numbers are still growing in many of the world’s developing countries, including the world’s most populous nation, China, and its close rival, India. Also fertility rates in Africa continue to be among the highest in the world, as many countries there are growing fast, too. Poverty and health problems due to poor sanitation, lack of access to food and water, the low social status of women and other ills continue to cripple these regions. Overpopulation could plague us indefinitely if fertility rates don’t drop in these areas, especially as they ramp up their Western-style development.

    Globally, the United Nations estimates that the number of humans populating the planet in 2100 will range from as few as 6.2 billion—almost a billion less than today—to as many as 15.8 billion on the high end. Meanwhile, other researchers confirm the likelihood of world population levels flattening out and starting to decline by 2100 according to the lower UN estimate.

  • Radical Life Extension Won’t Cause Resource Shortages (fightaging.org)
    That overpopulation exists at all is one of the most prevalent delusions in the modern world: thanks to the environmentalist movement, a cause that has ascended near to the status of civic religion, the average fellow in the street thinks that there are too many people alive today, that resources are stretched to breaking point, that the future is one of Malthusian decline, and that horrible poverty in the third world is caused by the existence of too many people. All of these points are flat-out wrong. Humanity is wealthier and has greater access to resources today than at any time in history, the variety and amounts of available resources are growing at an accelerating pace due to technological progress, the earth could support many times more people than are alive today, and where there is poverty it exists due to terrible, predatory governance and the inhumanity of man – it exists due to waste and aggression amidst the potential for plenty.