Happy International Women’s Day. Today as we sit down and celebrate #genderequality in our modern society and today’s world, the fight is still not over yet. Many women are still discriminated at workplace, young girls in certain third world countries still have no access to education and lots more. As we reflect on gender equality and what it means to achieve full equality for both genders, I am deeply disgusted when I came across this article published by WAToday. A senior female surgeon has openly criticised that young aspiring female surgeons and/or doctors should give in to sexual assault at work place. This is an absolutely appalling, disgusting, intolerable and uncivilised comment coming from a professional. Sexual assault should not be tolerated at either work place, home or anywhere and should also be more inclusive as there is also rising numbers of men who have been sexually assaulted. I do not consider myself as a feminist but I do believe in gender equality in our society. We need to learn to respect both genders for our society to continue to improve and progress harmoniously. Women deserve the same respect as men. For gender equality to be fully realised, we all need to realise it is important to respect both genders as respect cannot be a one-way traffic. It is also equally important for the society to realise that whilst women should be given equal rights as men, men’s right should not be diminished or neglected to maintain the balance.
As we celebrate #IWD2015, it is essential and crucial for us to reflect upon the achievement that our society has achieved over the years and the challenges that still lie ahead of us. We take our time to offer our gratitude to past heroes and heroines who have fought for gender equality and to those who believe both genders should co-exist harmoniously without a gender being more superior than the other in any fields or aspects of life. I thank them because without these courageous and valourous human beings, my mother and my sister would not have the opportunity to receive education like my grandmother. I recalled that my grandmother was forced to stop schooling when she was about 9 years old to help her family financially. Because there were no gender equality and education equality back then, my grandmother had to be a rubber tapper at a tender age of 9 and without education, she worked tremendously harder than anyone else to provide for her family. It broke my heart when my grandmother recounted her story to me even when I was young. And because we are pushing for gender equality and education equality, my mother and my sister are able to go to school and/or university. Both are able to get jobs when they enter the job market. We have all come a long way since my grandmother’s time but this fight is an ongoing fight.
Today we are not only celebrating International Women’s Day, today we are also celebrating gender equality and education equality for women in our society. I fundamentally believe education is the key to help an individual to break away from the poverty cycle and to help one to realise his/her dreams and goals. Together we can make our world a better place for both genders.