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January 2015 Newsletter

Letter from IWI Director

- Is Feminism a Dirty Word?


The dictionary definition of a feminist is the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social and economic equality to men. Fewer women are associating themselves as feminists because the term has developed a “man hater” stigma. Now more than ever, it is necessary for men to be supportive of women and to become feminists because if there are more men, it would be harder to tag feminists as man haters.

When feminism first became popular, it was mostly women working for women’s rights. Now there are more men joining the movement and we are not just fighting for women’s rights — we are arguing for gender equality.

Many presidents, celebrities and other world leaders have spoken up about women’s equality and it's a wonderful thing to see so many people are concerned about how women globally are treated. Equality among diverse populations is something much of the world has been working toward for many years and it is surprising and sad that we are still working on fighting the battle.

The misconception is that being a feminist is being a “man-hater." Being a feminist is being someone who believes that every person should share equal rights. It is wonderful to see those in the public eye speak out for women’s equality and doing what seems to be the most difficult thing to do — getting men to become feminists.

However, this will be an uphill battle. In order for men to become feminists, women must not be afraid to speak out about being a feminist. Being a feminist is not a derogatory term. It does not mean that you hate men. Being a feminist is not something that any woman should be afraid of being called. It is something they should be proud of being — something people of every gender should be proud of becoming. 

People are coming together from all over the world — and have been for many years — to fight for women’s equality. There will be no stopping until we are all equal. Women are not asking to be treated better than men or to have any privileges — they are simply asking to have equal treatment.

Such a basic request made by the gender which comprises more than half of our world, must be met swiftly. There is no longer any room for archaic excuses of the old world order. Women live in the same world as men and perform more and more of the same tasks.  

Think of a world where women everywhere can have equal rights to men. We have the capability to change the world with our voices and our support for an issue, but all of that means nothing if we do not have the voice to fight for what we want.  The changes must begin at home. If we are unable to set the example in our own nations, we will never have a glimmer of hope for bettering the lives of women beyond our borders.  No feminism is not a dirty word.....inequality is. 

Best Wishes,
Aubrey Shayler
Founder and Executive Director

 

IWI News

IWI Survivor's Blog Highlights

There have been many vital issues addressed by the writers and photographers of IWI Survivor's Blog.  The highlights are:  
  • New Year Resolution #27: 5 Good Reasons To Stop Watching Porn - by Lauren Treiber.   Ms. Treiber explores why 2015 should be the year of no porn, in the latest addition to IWI Survivor's Blog: New Year Resolution #27: 5 Good Reasons To Stop Watching Porn. For the full article click here.
  • Challenges For Women In Leadership - by Isabella Siebt.  Take an insight into the presence and status of women in paid employment in Isabella Siebt's IWI Survivor's Blog: Challenges For Women In Leadership.  Despite advocacy in international development organisations to alleviate poverty for the world’s women, the sector has still not come of age with respect to women’s leadership.  For full article click here.
  • Women Arrested For Daring To Drive - by Andrew Lord.  A great new piece on IWI Survivor's Blog: Women Arrested For Daring To Drive, by Andrew Lord.  In today’s world there are many unjust restrictions on the movement of women, but in only one country is it still forbidden for women to drive a car - Saudi Arabia.  Read his full article by clicking here.
  • IWI's Blog is supporting the recognition of January as Human Trafficking and Stalking Awareness Month — if we each do our part, everyone can experience freedom. For more information click here
        calvcp:

January is Human Trafficking and Stalking Awareness Month — if we each do our part, everyone can experience freedom.
http://vcgcb.ca.gov/victims/issues/humantrafficking/
#humantrafficking #HT #modernslavery #stalking

Our Survivor's Blog is an open window for exploring issues related to women's rights and development globally.  We have called it the Survivor's Blog because we find it vital for stories from survivors around the world to share their experiences in a forum alongside supporters.  All posts are monitored by Victoria Womersley, IWI's Blog Editor.  If you are interested in contributing a blog piece or have any suggestions, these can be sent directly to her at vwomersley@internationalwomensinitiative.org 
 

Volunteer with IWI

IWI volunteers have become the backbone of our organisation.  Without their dedication and contributions IWI would not be able to flourish.  We are requesting CVs for Programme Researchers, Communications Researchers and Fundraising Researchers.  For those interested please contact us at info@internationalwomensinitiative.org.  
 

International News

Dying to give birth in northern Kenya - Al Jazeera

Kenya is rated among the 10 most dangerous countries for pregnant women, according to a United Nations report, which highlights the trend of maternal deaths from 1990 to 2013. It indicated last year alone 6,300 women in Kenya died from pregnancy-related complications. Other reports estimate up to 8,000 a year die.  For full article click here.

Arrests in India over rape of Japanese woman - Al Jazeera

Indian police have arrested five men in connection with the alleged abduction and gang-rape of a 23-year-old Japanese tourist, officials have said.  For full article click here.

The Ebola treatment centre for pregnant women - BBC

Pregnant women are even more at risk of contracting Ebola than others.  The charity Medicines Sans Frontier says almost all the pregnant women its treated have not survived.  The health-workers treating them also face greater risks so in Sierra Leone the first ever Ebola treatment centre which specialises in caring for pregnant women has opened.  For full article visit page

This Contraceptive Is Linked to a Higher Risk of HIV - TIME

When it comes to the double duty of preventing both pregnancy and HIV, condoms are the best option, especially in the developing world where treatment for the infectious disease is harder to access. But the same is not true of other contraceptive methods. For full article click here.
 

IWI Staff Spotlight

Loran Hollander - IWI Survivor's Blog Photographer

Loran has brought a face to the many women and girls who seek equality on a daily basis.  Her eye has provided a window which many people would never be able to see. We look forward to more of Loran's work.


Evelina Svensson - Operations Assistant

As IWI evolves and grows Evelina has taken on the task of redesigning our website. Evelina has been phenomenal in the implementation of our new website.  Her work has made her an important part of IWI.  To review Evelina's bio click here.
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