Feminism is Empowering Women, not Threatening Men

By Neema Oloo

(oloojneema@gmail.com)

Drawing of women from different races to emphasize variety – Listuguj

International Women’s Day is a celebration that occurs annually on March 8, to honour the struggles of women worldwide, appreciating their political, social and cultural achievements.

Women all over the world have fought to conquer the odds to be great and this is seen from the likes of Kamala Harris, Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Chimamanda Ngozi.

Powerful women also include our sisters, aunties, colleagues, daughters and wives who wake up everyday to take care of us.

This year, in honor of our wonderful women, I urge us all to be feminists. Feminism is the belief and advocacy of political, economic and equality of the sexes through organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.

Chimamanda Ngozi, a Nigerian writer, was once asked, “Why a feminist? Why not just a believer in human rights?” and she responded,  “Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general, but to choose the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender.”

Drawing of women from different races putting their hands together to symbolize unity – Envoys

Addressing the issue of gender is often avoided and uncomfortable but is a discussion we need to have more often.

Feminism should not threaten men because empowerment of women has nothing to do with the men being inferior or losing their ground. It is about providing fair ground for both sexes.

Women should be judged by what they bring to the table and not on the basis of being a woman. Just like Chimamanda Ngozi advocates, “If we criticize X in a woman and fail to criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women.”

Everyone’s goal should be to ensure that the word feminism is no longer needed. That there will be equality and equity for the woman regardless of whatever door she walks through.

Let us love and care for our women. Let us fight for them as hard as they fight to nurture and care for us. Happy international Women’s Day, be a feminist!

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