President Barack Obama spoke to his people in his 2013 State of the Union address as he articulated these empowering words. President Obama couldn’t have spoken truer words. Did you know when 10% more girls attend school, a country’s GDP increases on average by 3%? I think that speaks volumes for the impact women have on the world. After all, women hold up half the sky.
Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) nearly a week ago now, and while I am absolutely ecstatic that the bill now extends even further than before, I can’t help but to think about all the women in the world left without the protection of a law like VAWA.
I have never understood how anyone could justify believing in any form of inequality. I don’t care if you are white, black, gay, straight. As human beings, we deserve to be protected from the misogyny and violence struck down upon us. Seven in ten women will be victims of some form of sexual or physical assault in their lifetime. That’s 70% of women. And I’m not just talking about in America. Believe it or not, America is just a small part of this great universe, and the sooner her citizens recognize that, the better off we’ll be.
Friday is International Women’s Day, (and Fierce Female Friday will most definitely be back after its two week break!) and this year the theme is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.” So I say lets jump on board. You can help end violence against women not just at home but internationally. Lend your voice to the cause, because as VAWA denotes, we are all equal, and we all deserve the same protection. No woman should be forced to live in fear and subordination simply because she is not a man. The Declaration of Independence declares, “all men are created equal,” but I’d like to extend that quote even further by declaring that all humans are created equal. We have to put our differences aside and realize that it does no matter who we pray to (if we pray at all), where we call home, who we love, what we earn, or what skin color we see when we look in a mirror, no one deserves to be treated with anything less than love and respect.
In the words of Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, “gender equality must become a lived reality.”