Women’s Rights – The First Steps Towards Women’s Equal Rights With Men

The world would be a better place if women had equal rights with men. It’s a fundamental human right and a precondition for sustainable development. In societies where women enjoy their rights, there are more opportunities for education and health, economic growth and poverty reduction. Women’s inequality is everyone’s problem – and it can be resolved only by changing the ways in which societies think, operate and govern themselves.

The first steps towards a world where women’s rights are respected began with the creation of women’s organizations in the 1960s. The National Organization for Women was founded in 1966 to organize and coordinate women’s lobbying efforts. The organization was soon followed by a range of mass-membership groups targeting specific groups of women such as Blacks, lesbians, Asian-Americans, welfare recipients and tradeswomen of all kinds. These were the precursors to today’s feminist movement that is fighting for gender parity across the globe.

Despite the progress that has been made, the fight for women’s rights is far from over. Women around the world are still subject to violence, discrimination and injustice. Almost 1 in 3 experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. One in five girls are married before they turn 18 and more than 200 million have undergone female genital mutilation. In many countries, women are paid less than men for the same work and face barriers to reproductive health care. Moreover, in the United States, the Supreme Court and multiple state governments have taken steps to ban or limit access to legal abortions.

It is no surprise that a majority of Americans – both men and women and people from all partisan backgrounds – believe that the country has not gone far enough to give women equal rights with men. When asked about what is holding back progress on this front, 77% of Americans say that sexual harassment is a major obstacle. Other major obstacles include: women not being in leadership positions, different expectations society places on men and women and family responsibilities.

Women’s rights are essential for all of us – but it takes hard work and persistence to make the changes necessary to realize them. We at medica mondiale are working to change the way society thinks about gender equality and its consequences. And we’re bringing the facts to light so that people around the world can stand up for women’s rights. Together with our partners, we are raising awareness of women’s rights issues and pointing to concrete ways that people can take action to end them.