16/03/17

International Women’s Day 2017 – Year 9 | BBC News School Report

 

Seeing as last week was International Women’s Week it made perfect sense to me to write about a subject that affects the majority of women in the world. Feminism.

 

Since its first large movement in the 19th century for the Suffrage, feminism has developed a stronger standing. While it is still about equality and rights for women, it’s also about equal rights for everyone. Equality for the LGBT+ community. Equality for all races. Equality for all religions. Equality for all genders. And this new form of feminism is considered intersectional – the idea of joining multiple types of identities and working together to get to the same goal.

 

I asked three Year 9 forms to fill out a questionnaire about their views on Feminism and the first question they were faced with was ‘How many people consider themselves feminists?’. In two of the three forms only 13 people considered themselves feminists; in the other, all 33 participants said they were feminists. I was able to ask one of the forms how many of them actually had no idea what feminism was and 7 of them willingly raised their hand. While this was surprising considering the society we live in today, it also wasn’t at the same time.

 

Feminism has been around for centuries and many people still don’t understand what it means. As much as we talk about the advantages and effects of Feminism we never actually discuss what the dictionary definition is. Each one of the forms questioned all said something along of the lines of ‘gender equality’ and ‘equal rights’ when they were asked to give a brief definition of the term, and they were all correct.

 

When asked why they thought feminism is important two of the three form groups stated that we as women are unequal to man and even mentioned the wage gap as an example. But what caught my eye was the third form’s response: Women are as important as men because we are all people. This was interesting because it gave off the feeling that society doesn’t consider women as real people. That we aren’t as important as men.
While we know this isn’t true, there is still a large need for change. Feminism is still looked down upon and ridiculed as it was when the Suffragettes protested for their rights but rather than fighting back, we need to teach. We need to teach others how feminism actually affects the world around us and what difference we can make. So, as Albert Einstein said ‘I’m willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war’.