With our DO Day organizers lining up across the world to join our global day of DOing on the 18th of October, we wanted to hear as many different perspectives on the topic as possible. Hannah Leinmüller, an alumna of our 24YOU youth development program, shares her thoughts on this year’s DO Day topic: She Wins, We Win.
Everyone is talking about climate change, wars and poverty, the big problems of our current world. Why should we be discussing something like women’s empowerment if there are so many pressing issues right now? Because after the huge success of Captain Marvel, a superhero movie with a female lead, “You fight like a woman” still means “You’re weak”. Because singers like Ariana Grande or Beyoncé are accused of sexualizing their bodies to make more profit while everyone loves Shawn Mendes after seeing him shirtless in his recent Calvin Klein campaign. Because girls think there’s something wrong with them when starting their period as menstruation is considered a taboo in so many families.
This shows that there is the need to change something, that something isn’t right. The #metoo movement, for instance, has revealed how many women are victims of sexual assault and harassment and never had the courage to speak up before. For me, this hashtag has become a symbol of courage and solidarity.
As cliché as it sounds, I truly believe that “empowered women empower other women”.
But how does this empowerment look like? One area to consider is the workplace. Not only is there a gender pay gap, women are also faced with sexism and constantly have to prove that their work is worth something. In an ideal world, men, women and non-binary people would be treated the same way. But in order to create equal opportunities for everyone, I think that we need to create MORE opportunities for women and non-binary people. Some argue that quotas, e. g. in leading positions, aren’t fair because they discriminate against men. However, it’s very naïve to think that the system which is often biased will change itself if we don’t change the system. And one way to do this is by introducing quotas. Apart from laying a good legal groundwork to fight against gender discrimination, I see a responsibility for every one of us: Speak up! Speak up if there’s injustice and call people out for sexist behavior. To end this on a more positive note: If you see something you like, if you admire a woman for her strength, for being honest, for making herself vulnerable by sharing a painful story to inspire others, tell her! For me, this is the truest form of empowerment.
Find out more or sign up to be a DO Day organizer here.
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