Starting small, we can all help create a safer and equal world for women and girls
Dated: Tuesday, 17 April 2018
“Why do you stand up for gender equality?”
People always ask me this question and I used to just pick out beautiful-sounding answers that I heard from other people, ones that included words like empowerment, peace and unity. I suppose I did that because I believed people expect to hear really powerful and emotional answers every time they ask me that question and I felt ashamed to just give simple ones.
However, I have just come to realize that every reason is a good reason as long as it drives social good. Now, I am proud to say that I am fighting for gender equality because I believe that everyone deserves to reach their full potential regardless of their gender. Growing up here in Thailand in a family that allowed me to pursue whatever I loved, it is frustrating to see other people unable to even acknowledge their capacity, or even worse, if they know what they are capable of, unable to thrive because of their gender.
No matter what reasons you have for tackling gender-based inequality, you can make a difference. The world needs more people like you.
- Over 60 million girls worldwide do not have access to education. —United Nations Foundation
- 4 out of 5 victims of human trafficking worldwide are girls. —Malala Fund
- 200 million girls and women alive today have been victims of genital mutilation in 30 countries. —World Health Organization
- Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria. —United Nations
- 61 per cent of young people who are attracted to the same sex or who question their gender are verbally abused. And 18 percent of them are physically abused. —Australian Human Rights Commission
These problems are wicked.
“Teaspoons of Change” is the concept that I strongly believe will transform the world into a more beautiful place. It refers to those small but significant individual actions that collectively make a great impact on society, like turning the lights off after use. And it is what I am committed to doing to reduce gender inequality.
Open-mindedness to learning is the key. I believe that most of the problems in society are caused by ignorance: ignoring to learn that there are pressing issues around us, ignoring to take actions to contribute to a better society, and ignoring to help humanity. By being aware of wicked social problems and doing your part to help fix them, we all together can end gender inequality.
You can start with something small like going on the Internet to learn more about gender inequality and passing on that knowledge to your close friends, and speaking up whenever you witness any acts of inequality.
Moh Suthasiny is a global studies student in Bangkok. She hopes to make an impact on society by sharing her knowledge and skills of “design thinking” – user-centred design tools for innovation – to help people tackle issues they care about. Gender equality and women's empowerment are issues that she is passionate about.