I am Generation Equality: Cindy Sirinya Bishop, celebrity and activist
Billions of people across the world stand on the right side of history every day. They speak up, take a stand, mobilize, and take big and small actions to advance the rights of women and minority genders. This is Generation Equality.
Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020
Author: Interview by Aijamal Duishebaeva
I am Generation Equality because…
Three things you can do to become part of Generation Equality
- Educate yourself.
- Use your voice wherever you want to make a difference.
- Find a way to collaborate with people who share your vision, goals and passion, and make it a team effort.
I have always spoken up for women’s right, even though I didn’t always brand myself as an activist. I was told from an early age that I could be whatever I wanted to be. When I saw a newspaper headline about how officials were telling women how to dress, I started using my social media platform to speak out against the idea that what women wear could be the reason for sexual assault.
I became an activist to champion initiatives that raise awareness about the real causes of gender-based violence and to talk about how as ordinary citizens we can all be agents of change.
Education is the answer
For me, education is crucial. After campaigning on this issue for nearly two years now, I am seeing the whole picture. It’s an intricate issue, and there are so many layers where we need to address it. But education is where everything begins, and that’s where discrimination begins. How we raise our children determines whether they become respectful citizens who treat others with dignity and respect their human rights. It’s about how we are teaching the next generation.
Why everyone should be a women’s rights activist
“We can all be agents of change”
Gender-based violence—sometimes it affects you and you don’t want to talk about it, or sometimes you can’t relate to it because you don’t understand the gravity of the situation.
But what’s the most fundamental thing that we are talking about here? It's human rights, the right for somebody to be free, to be safe, and to be respected.
We need everyone on board because this is not a minority issue, it affects everyone.
My appeal to men: be more aware of what you are doing in your life, and see how you can support [women’s rights]. That might mean championing the women in your life or speaking up when you hear something that is not okay, because that is the most powerful way to push back against discrimination. It’s a strong man who stands up in a group of men and says, “hey that’s not okay, let’s not do it.”
Cindy Sirinya Bishop is a Thai supermodel, actor, TV host and activist, who’s challenging social attitudes around sexual violence and the treatment of victims. She created an exhibition with UN Women, which sparked a public conversation and social media campaign, #donttellmehowtodress in Thailand about sexual harassment and assault.