Society Magazine

Youth Speak up on Women’s Rights

Posted on the 11 March 2011 by Center For International Private Enterprise @CIPEglobal

Youth speak up on women’s rights

On International Women’s Day, people around the world celebrate the success of women and discuss the challenges that remain for women’s rights. Politicians, women in the media, businesswomen, and human rights activists all proclaim that women should be treated with respect and dignity. Today CIPE adds an additional voice to that mix: the voice of youth. In remarkable essays from youth in India and Kenya, winners of CIPE’s 2010 International Youth Essay contest detail what they see as the biggest challenges to women’s empowerment, and what societies can do to overcome them.

In her first place-winning essay, Deepa Kylasam Iyer discusses customs that impair women’s prospects in India, such as child marriages, perversions of traditional customs such as bride price, honor killings, and caste discrimination. She writes, “The medieval notions of purity and chastity that plague my country are anti-democratic and contradict the precepts of human rights. It is in this context of social realities that the barriers facing Indian women need to be analyzed.”

Read the full article here:
http://www.cipe.org/publications/fs/pdf/031111Deepa.pdf

From Kenya, Claris Gatwiri Kariuki discusses women’s status in a historical context. As women lost access and control of land during the British colonial era, they became economically dependent on men, which intensified domestic patriarchy. Since Kenya gained independence, however, women still face barriers to self empowerment such as high levels of illiteracy, “family voting” practices in which men lead women to voting booths and sway their decisions, and female genital mutilation.

Read the full article here:
http://www.cipe.org/publications/fs/pdf/031111Claris.pdf

The third winner, who wishes to remain anonymous, condemns gender-based violence in India. She writes, “Every year in the hinterlands of progressive India, hundreds of women are branded as witches, humiliated, assaulted, ostracized, and even lynched. How can we dream of women’s emancipation in a world that breeds such ignorance and hypocrisy?”

Read the full article here:
http://www.cipe.org/publications/fs/pdf/031111Anon.pdf

The young authors do not only write about challenges, however – they also present a way forward. For example, Deepa recommends that the government of India deposit a nominal sum in a girl’s name when she is born. When a girl turns 18 and is unmarried, she would be able to access the account and use the money to fund a business, pursue further education, or as part of her dowry for a marriage of her choice.  

Where there is family voting in Kenya, Claris suggests the establishment of separate polling places for men and women, as well as gender-separated voter education programs. She also suggests decentralized entry points into the political arena so that women can gain political experience locally and then climb the political ladder.

The anonymous author builds her essay around the need for education in India. She also makes the case that entrepreneurial endeavors can change societal perceptions of women, and that the government should introduce quotas for women in business schools run by the government.

These youth have great potential for their societies and the future of women. Deepa works on the Jaago Nari project, which means “Awake Woman” in Hindi. She aims to bring about women’s empowerment through an inclusive national agenda. Claris is a young lawyer in Kenya who is dedicating her career to promoting and protecting human rights, democracy, and good governance in her country. The anonymous writer created a social venture that educates rural women with the help of student volunteers. 

Youth such as the winners of CIPE’s Youth Essay Competition are uniquely placed to bring about reforms and changes to better the lives of women in their countries. They represent great potential and deserve to be heard. To learn more, check out their essays at http://www.cipe.org/featureservice/?p=586.

 


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Australopithecus Sediba: Early Human Or Ancient Ape?

    Australopithecus sediba is a South African member of the human family that lived about 1.9 million years ago. And that's about all we can say for sure about... Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Reprieve
    BIOLOGY, SCIENCE
  • What to Do About a Lack of Energy on Low Carb?

    What About Lack Energy Carb?

    Is a low-carb diet appropriate for someone who has had gastric-bypass surgery? Can you lose weight on low carb while taking insulin? And what to do about a... Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Comic Performer-turned-painter The Iceman Suddenly Outsells Van Gogh.

    Comic Performer-turned-painter Iceman Suddenly Outsells Gogh.

    The Artist formerly known as The Iceman: a brush with fameI have blogged before about the comic performance artist legend that is The Iceman. Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Thejohnfleming
    CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT
  • My Ramadan Baby

    Ramadan Baby

    I remember the day like it was yesterday. The Islamabad sun, hot and bright, burned down on my mom and I as we walked to the hospital with my first-born -... Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Marilyngardner5
    RELIGION, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Stories from the Stacks Vol. 2: “Unidentified”

    Stories from Stacks Vol. “Unidentified”

    Contributed by Stacy Young, University of Akron student/CCHP Student Assistant.CCHP: What led you to us?SY: I previously attended the Museums and Archives... Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Chp
    HEALTH, HISTORY, PSYCHOLOGY
  • Spectre – Bond’s Navy Suit

    Spectre Bond’s Navy Suit

    Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre (2015).VitalsDaniel Craig as James Bond, British government agentMorocco, November 2015Film: Spectre Release Date:... Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Nguzan
    ENTERTAINMENT, TV & VIDEO
  • Should You #Golf With Better Players?

    Should #Golf With Better Players?

    Do you immediately feel anxious when approached by a single golfer or couple who wants to join you for the round? Chances are, you may have been with your... Read more

    The 25 May 2017 by   Golfforbeginners
    GOLF, SPORTS

Magazine