Doing is more difficult than saying
Seeds have been sown long back, it’s time to take charge...
We often hear from leaders on the role of women, and importance of women equality, to build a sustainable, political, corporate and social ecosystem. Time and again, I read on different forums, across platforms, where groups and individuals emphasize on taking meaningful steps towards enabling women across the value chain.
I have had my own journey as an advocate of women equality, safety and progress. Over a period of time I have realized from my experiences, it’s not easy to walk the talk when it comes to making progress around any resolution/ purpose, that involves a large section of the population. And the level of challenges when it comes to any initiatives around empowering women (when compared to any other political, social or corporate initiative related to empowering people), are way more than driving most other initiatives. The reason I say this, is because there are so many policies and committees that have been created/ incorporated to enable women; be it state level, organization level or globally. But when we look at outcomes, the resulting impact of these policies and committees has been a far cry, compared to the progress we would have expected.
So what needs to be done to achieve the goals outlined across these resolutions/ policies formulated by large & leading groups, including corporations, governments and global organizations of repute? If I had to quote that in one line, I would say “become the change that you want to see”. But are we doing enough of that? And this question holds good for not just women but also their feminist friends. Unfortunately, when we talk about “becoming the change”, the level of awareness (forget action), still remains to be low and per me, lack of awareness is the obvious reason for lack of action., governments and global organizations of repute?
Now what makes me question the lack of awareness. I can question the lack of awareness, from something significant I noticed a few weeks back, based on my discussions with multiple women and fellow men feminists around a globally popular resolution/ policy. And based on what I learnt from the discussions, I would like to pose this question to every woman and fellow men reading this note, on their level of awareness around key resolutions and policies that enable women to be equals in all walks of life.
So what resolution/ policy am I referring to? I am talking about the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR 1325), which addresses specifics around safeguarding women and girls during times of crisis. It is one of the most well known and popular resolutions, which is being driven by the United Nations (UN) for close to two decades.
To give you some idea of the size of UNSCR 1325, it is a United Nations (UN) resolution, which oversees development around safety and progress of women and girls across the 189 member countries. Yes, a resolution, that comes from an organization that touches/ impacts 189 countries. No other organization has this reach and influence. So it would be a good reality check of how much progress has been made, in our awareness journey. Note that the UNSCR 1325 is supported by Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which lays down an approach towards meeting the requirements of resolution.
Hence, would it be fair to ask that most women and feminists (specially the educated group) should know about this landmark resolution and the supporting convention?
How many of us would be able to answer this question in a positive, truthfully? And if your answer is yes, my followup question is, how well do you know Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which lays down a detailed approach towards meeting the requirements of UNSCR 1325. And if you have another yes, then I would ask, have you spoken or been an advocate of the UNSCR 1325 and CEDAW?
Well from my wide but not exhaustive interaction with many women and feminists (and I’m referring to the educated and privileged ones), most of us are not aware of this landmark United Nations (UN) resolution and the supporting convention.
Unless women and supporting feminists do not build awareness around the most powerful tools, there is never going to be enough progress in our mission to get anywhere close to equality for women. Without awareness, there can’t be enough action to bring change.
A wise person once said, “it is now or never”. So can we take that first step to become aware of this landmark resolution from the UN.
And I would remind, first become aware, then advocate and finally take action!