DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
A Feminism Overview
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Here are some clips for all to see. I have highlighted some of the main elements of the feminist movement with a brush of women's history. I have involved media because its means of communication has broadcast portrayals of women in history.  Feminists may use media in order to advocate against inequality and correct those misinterpretations. I included some videos and images from an event I personally attended as well. 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
Our History 

In its broadest sense, feminism is the advocacy of women's rights. It is a fight for a strict foundation of political, social, and economic equality to men.This issue goes as far back as 1848, when the first women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. 68 women and 32 men signed a Declaration of Sentiments outlining some of the many gender inequalities which included voting rights. This movement is not restricted to just women, as men are welcomed to fight with us. It values any individual regardless if their skin is white or black, if they consider themselves a man or a woman, or if their sexual taste is towards the same sex. It is important that everyone realizes that this is not just a movement striving for gender inequality, but a strive for human rights and justice for the living. 

Approximately 127 years after the first Seneca Falls conventions, we have accomplished many things, for sure, but not enough to fulfill the basic foundations of human rights and liberty. Many women have also continued to live their lives under the impression that equality has been achieved, but have been blinded of the many disparities continuing to occur.

Media has also changed the way gender roles should be perceived.  Starting at young ages, an overwhelming influence has began to influence our upcoming generations.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
Underlying Facts

Economically, the wage discrepancy between men and women is substantial. People continue to make excuses such as “women usually just gravitate toward lower paying fields … women are always asking for maternity leave… women are weaker… men work more overtime.” However, the New York Times has greatly disagreed with this and has displayed statistics of gender pay inequality in regards to professional jobs. Now the question is: what is the excuse for women lawyers, doctors, and engineers (with the same positions are men) getting paid extensively less than men? The Guardian has also brought attention to this movement by establishing a Feminist column online with both women and men writing about global gender inequality issues.

 

Not only is this a growing concern within the United States, but it is a worldwide issue as well. Huge establishments such as the United Nations have been ruthlessly shining light on these ghastly injustices women have to experience. Femicide is one of the issues they touched based upon which is present in Guatemala, a Central American country, where a mass amount of women have been murdered. It has been observed that less than 4% of all Femicides have resulted in arrest or conviction of the perpetrators. 

 

Our political, social, and economic equality has been compromised throughout the past years and people must work together in order to prompt change. Upcoming generations should not be prone to categorizing each other with stronger and weaker links. People around the world should grow aware and stand up without fear for the injustices inflicting the lives of thousands of women. 

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Within families, women are vulnerable to a number of gender-based forms of violence, such as: genital mutilation, marriage without the young woman’s consent, dowry-related (money extortion) violence, infanticide (killing of an unwanted child soon after birth), battering, and sexual abuse. Commercialized violence is also extremely present (especially in financially low areas), such as pornography and trafficking of women. Migrant women are especially vulnerable due to their minority status and their fear of what may happen if they were to report the crimes committed against them. Last but not least women are vulnerable to violence by the State, either in custodial institutions (such as correctional facilities) or in situations of armed conflict where rape is widely used as an instrument of war. Unfortunately, media helps continue many gender-based violence today, worldwide.

Women’s issues have been a UN concern since its inception.

In the mid 1940s, the Economic and Social Council established the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) as a specific phenomenon to deal with the thriving women’s issues. It consists of 45 members, whom are elected by the Economic and Social Council, on a regional basis and serve a four-year period.

CSW defines women’s rights and further investigates the factors that prevent women from enjoying and exercising them.  It works to promote women’s rights in political, economic, social, and educational fields. 

The "international bill of rights for women" was adopted by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1979. The USA signed on to Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in July 1980, but it has not yet ratified the Convention.  The 16 substantive provisions of the Convention define discrimination and spell out the appropriate measures, which States obligate themselves to carry out as Parties to CEDAW. It is the only human rights treaty to affirm the reproductive rights of women.

 

At the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in September 1995, representatives from 189 countries unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.  The Platform identified main obstacles to women’s advancement.  


The HeForShe event is a linked campaign with the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Its motive is that individuals shouldn’t be stereotypically categorized because of gender.  It is a movement especially targeting men to realize the true meaning of Feminism. Worldwide, they have been able to attract 219,012 men to join the movement. 61,102 of those men are from the United States. On the HeForShe website, men are able to pledge to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination that women and girls face all around the world. Many well-known male individuals such as Matt Damon, Terry Crews, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Forest Whitaker, and many more have been pushing for this movement.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
I Am a Woman 

People fail to realize that in order to fix bigger issues, we must start at one of the many roots of the issues. Women hold such an invaluable role in society and should not have to go through gender discrimination. Times have changed, times will continue to change, and we should not be stuck in old absurd traditions. Viewing women as just reproductive machines and stay-at-home entities is past its due.

I can ultimately identify with this issue because I am a young woman myself. Growing up there have been many moments of insecurity in my life due to being viewed as “weak” by the disconcerted masculine world. As I became older, I have been viewed as a direct person, and when I want something, nothing can flinch my determination. However, my strength has also made people think negatively of me. I’m too “assertive” and too “bossy” in my strive to success. In many ways I am repeatedly stuck between two walls of being too little or too big, and this is an issue many women have to experience all over the world.
Would you like to see
your daughters being cat called as they walk home from school and only appreciated for their appearances? Or would you like to know that your wife has been molested in her workplace, simply because she is a woman? In many instances of gender discrimination, a man acts, or even believes, that a woman must owe him something in return. Socially, this is what many women have to go through on an every day basis. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said, we must provoke change starting with the way we raise the upcoming generations. 
 
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Sandis, E. E. (2006). United Nations measures to stop violence against women. Annals Of The New York Academy Of Sciences1087, 1, 370-383. 

Quataert, J. H. (2014). A knowledge revolution: Transnational feminist contributions to international development agendas and policies, 1965-1995. Global Social Policy14, 2, 209-227.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
About the Author
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
I am a Guatemalan, eighteen year old finding herself as a first generation college student. I come from a small, hard working family. My parents have only wanted the best for me as their only child. "I have lost, won, failed, overcame, hated and loved many things through my life. Those essential moments have shaped me into the person I am today."

 

Although I live in a small south Bronx apartment, my family always managed to find the best education for me. After the struggle my family and I have been through, I can identify myself as resilient. Because of my experiences, I will continue grinding with my passions and eventually become a lawyer. My goal is to become the voice for the unheard. So far, my experience at John Jay has been great as a Law and Society major. I have had the opportunity to expand on a lot of issues that I simply just swept under a rug before college. I have engaged a great variety of research projects regarding minority groups (inclusive of ethnicities, sexualities, and genders)– all weaved together in order to create a more intimate perspective and definition of discrimination. 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.