"The world is in this peculiar position of wars and under-development because it has failed to utilize the unique skills that women bring to every thematic concern globally." Leymah Gbowee.
On this International Women's day it is with great pleasure and pride that African HRC brings you these words from Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Leymah Gbowee, the Liberian peace activist responsible for leading a women's peace movement that helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003:
"Happy International Women’s Day to all my comrades in the fight for women’s rights and gender equality. This year, the world is also celebrating 20 years since the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, which sought to build a more equitable world for women.
The topic of women’s rights continues to be controversial in many parts of the world. As touchy as the subject may be, I believe it is important to engage men in the conversation because it is only by creating an understanding about why we fight, and the impact of inequality, discrimination and marginalization, that we will see gains in our struggle.
Don’t get me wrong—by engaging men, I am in no way suggesting that we surrender our fight over to them. However, it is important that we honestly dialogue about the pains, shame and also fears that may be coming from both end of the gender spectrum in order to make progress. The world is in this peculiar position of wars and under-development because it has failed to utilize the unique skills that women bring to every thematic concern globally.
Right now the world is functioning like a person trying to see the whole picture with one eye covered. That person is bound to miss some very important details.
As we celebrate International women’s Day, 20 years since Beijing, and the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN, it is my hope that women and men will commit to having honest dialogues about their individual roles—not their stereotypically- assigned roles, but their roles as humans with power to build change—and what we all stand to gain by engaging and working together."
Picture: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee with African HRC Executive Director, Melanie Nathan.
Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/o8e7xq7