Being the Change We Want to See — Women’s Campaign Fund

These days, as women and men, we mull over what we should be doing to level the playing field between us. As we sit and talk it over, and over, our sisters elsewhere — in locations far less hospitable — are taking action.

They are pursued, stoned, and even hunted as human targets. Yet, where do we find them today? On the front lines, standing up and speaking out for what’s right. For them. For their families and children. For all.

Across Myanmar, women protesters line the streets daily in vibrant traditional women’s clothing to taunt, confront, and protest against the ruling military junta — knowing they must raise international attention and support. The crisis there has reached a new level of urgency, as at least 35 people were killed in a massacre by Myanmar’s military on Christmas Eve.

In Afghanistan, women continue to defy Taliban decrees. Those who once served as judges are now stalked by those whom they jailed — criminals who, today, roam freely. Adding to the instability, the Taliban has dissolved the country’s two election commissions, along with the state ministries for peace and parliamentarian affairs, calling them “unnecessary institutions for the current situation in Afghanistan.”

In India, women shouldered a leading role in that nation’s farmer-led protest and used the moment to demand equality.

Thai women made sure that a call for equal rights is central to that country’s movement for democracy.

These daring women join many others around the world, including their sisters in Belarus, where women have led the protests and shattered gender stereotypes for more than a year.

The challenges at home

Challenges occur on a scale. We all face problems from unequal treatment, harassment, and stereotyping. Concerns confronting us in the United States are real, as are those in other parts of the world, and the right to be treated equally is no less. Here, as there, doing nothing will consign us to destructive consequences that echo for generations.

Why is coming together to act so difficult for us in the U.S.? Is it because the problems here are not as visceral or visual as those confronted in other nations?

Elsewhere, despite the threat, women challenge the problems head on. They find ways to unite, to use all of their collective skills and smarts to push forward.

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“Sitting back and waiting for change doesn’t bring change.” _________________________________________________________

Worthy of belonging

Today, the challenge for women in the United States is not to withstand bullets and rocks should we take to the streets. It is to claim our common interests and central ideas. Our own sense of each other as people worthy of belonging in our shared future, on a journey into the unknown. And to decide that it is time to start making things happen among us, instead of letting them happen to us.

Women around the world are showing us a different way. They lack the luxury to ponder, pick apart the nuances, and bide their time. They see the urgency, choose among even lousy options, and act.

Sitting back and waiting for change doesn’t bring change. To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, we must be the change we want to see in the world. Imagine what we can do if we work together.

©2021 Women’s Campaign Fund

#5050x2028

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