Erlinda J. Fronda, @lynfronda23, INN, Philippines;
The year 2017 has been an eventful year and as we reach 2018 it is important that we rewind to see how the year was. Last year was a crucial year for the women all over the world. While some marched the streets like wonder women for their rights, some wore black to 75th Golden Globe Award and some finally succeed to free themselves from being a hostage. Overall, it was an inspiring year and a strong message that things are finally going to change for better. Here are some of the most important milestones that sisters all over the world achieved so far.
Women’s March: Worldwide protest to advocate women rights (January)
Women from all walks of life gathered and brought the opposition together the so-called rally of the century that was held in the streets of Washington, LA, NY, Florida, Idaho and the sister leg was held in Thailand, in Malawi and Antarctica. This is in connection of the inauguration of the winning President elect of the United States of America, Donald Trump. What was amazing is those who attended were auspices of a march for women that women go together as one in one cause despite of their differences in politics.
Boko Haram in Nigeria (February)
Young girls were kidnapped and held hostage to make them suicide bombers. The group strapped bombs on their waists and bodies and send them to camp of Nigerian civilians. Some girls manage to seek help from authorities.
Should prostitution be a crime? (May)
Amnesty International voted to adopt a proposal in favor of the full decriminalization of consensual sex worker. Human rights in Norway and Sweden resigned en masse, saying the organisation’s goal should end its demand for prostitution and not to condone it. The sex workers on the other hand are fighting for status quo, social mores and mainstream feminism. If the organisation approves the final policy for sex workers in favor of decriminalisation, it will join forces with the Public Health to halt the spread of HIV and AIDS especially in developing countries
Chelsea Manning in USA (June)
She was imprisoned for 7 years out of her 35 years of sentence. Her crime was an astonishing leakage of a government classified record and perhaps the biggest in American history. She handed WikiLeaks approximately 250,000 American cables to roughly 480,000 Army reports from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. After she was locked up at 5 different facilities and received a special commutation from former President Barrack Obama.
Raising a feminist son in USA (July)
Why can’t boys play with dolls and everything that is considered feminine? Instead, they were discouraged for having interest in them rather than to be called weaklings. In raising them, parents must let them decide what they want, protect their own selves, let them be as themselves, let them cry sometimes and set yourself as their model.
The Wonder Women of Botswana Safari (August)
Chobe National Park’s women guides as experts say that they’re breaking gender norms because they’re pushing several boundaries that circumscribed women in the past. They drive the park vehicles using less fuel and repairs. “They’re helping us to save money,” said the company.
How to get away with murder in small- town India (September)
She was murdered by her husband in broad daylight and witnessed by some but no one came to the rescue. Mukesh was arrested and was freed shortly after because of lack of evidence, but because of the interference by foreign media, Geeta’s case was reopened and the husband confessed and was charged of murder.
Angela Merkel: German women find symbol and not a Savior (September)
Because of Merkel, the image of Germany abroad is more progressive than what it really is. Germany led by a powerful woman has a woman problem. Seval Anne Wizorek, a feminist writer who rose to prominence in 2013, led a highly visible hash tag campaign against casual sexism, Merkel has not extended structural sexism in Germany. She hardly promoted the issue for women. Thus, Germany needs a feminist movement as the US or France because the progress is still fragile.
When a student says “I’m not a boy or a girl” (October)
After deep thinking, Sofia Martin announces to fellow students that she’s non- binary which means she’s not a boy or a girl. At some school teaching transgender is a battle but other educators aren’t battling against trans students, instead, they’re trying to alter their policies to include transgender to make gender a deliberate part of the curriculum.
The click moment: How the Weinstein scandal unleashed a Tsunami (November)
A film executive and co- founder of Miramax Entertainment, Harvey Weinstein was kicked out from his own company following a series of sexual harassment and rape he committed over the years. Women from the industry came out to share their stories including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. He was then dismissed and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences but he denied any “non- consensual sex”. Criminal investigation is now going on in Los Angeles, New York and London. Everyone from the Hollywood film industry dressed in black to stand up against the systemic misogyny of the entertainment industry.
Saudi Arabia’s female candidates (November)
900 plus female candidates ran for the historic election in the kingdom. This is one of the intended reformation of the Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman for the modernisation of the Kingdom.
These are some of the many instances which marred 2017. As we have stepped into 2018, the way ahead should be to empower women through the collective effort of societies, organizations and governments.