Special Event: Q&A
Why Womenís Day?
How It Happened
Question and Answer with UN Women
Questions for Comfort Lamptey
(Who is she?)
Recently, I have been reading numerous accounts of women in the Middle East... I was confused as to the position of women in Parliament... for example, Pakistan and India. In a country from which comes many horrific descripitions on the treatment of women by their male counterparts, I find it interesting how some women have risen to such high positions in parliament, while others are restricted by either force or moral and ethic codes.
Is it the individual courage of the women themselves that puts them into such postitions, or the situations from which they emerge that enables them to propel themselves both politically and emotionally to the forefront of their country's affairs?
I believe it is a combination of the two (courage of women and the situations from which they emerge) that propels them to the forefront of political life. In a world where women, for the most part, have to fight to get a voice and a say in decision-making processes which affect their lives, any woman who stands up to challenge the prevailing systems needs courage. Such courage very often breeds fruitful gains if she is operating with the support of other women within her community/
Women's struggles in oppressive situations also benefit greatly if they have links with international women's networks since the latter can provide a support base and also act as a channel for bringing their problems to the attention of the international community.
How many cases do you know of when women who live in typically male dominated countries stand up for their rights? What happens in such cases?
Most countries will fall under the category of male-dominated societies (the extent of the domination varies, of course). The fact that women have succeeded in reversing this situation in some countries is testimony to the fact that standing up for your rights does pay off. Often though, this is a very long process which requires a change in attitude on the part of both men and women (some women, either for customary or religious reasons, do not want to oppose the status quo). Women who pioneer such processes often have a hard time at the beginning, but once people's attitudes soften, cahnge is much easier to come by. I think this is true for most countries in the world where women have/are struggling for equal rights.
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