Wednesday, 21 August 2019 10:36 GMT

Political will and gender equality

(MENAFN - Jordan Times) March 8th marked the day when the world commemorated International Women's Day, hopefully, this time with more determination than ever to fully and absolutely empower women by ensuring them equal opportunities and rights, and ending all forms of discrimination against girls and women. Women's day was first celebrated on February 28, 1909 by the Socialist Party of America, until the UN began in 1975 celebrating March 8th as International Women's Day during International Women's Year. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by member states, in accordance with their historical and national tradition. Ever since, women gained more and more equality, but not absolutely in practice until this day. The occasion picked up more momentum when a series of international human rights conventions were adopted and applied, on the top of which was the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on December 18, 1979. The term "discrimination" as defined by article 1 of CEDAW means "any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex... ." As the years went by, more awareness was developed on the proposition that gender equality does not stop at cosmetic changes in places of power, whether political or economic. Decorative changes in the formation of Cabinets and parliaments or in the hierarchy of positions of powers in business or any other area is no longer acceptable. Women want real equality, full power sharing and the elimination of all forms of discrimination across the board. Here in Jordan, equality between men and women means or should mean equal number of PMs in the legislature and not just few of them as decorative flowers to please, or rather deceive, the eye. Surely, we have able women to fill high posts on par with men if not even better, and all that is missing is the political will to put them on an equal pedestal. Jordan is certainly moving in the right direction but, admittedly, not without some shortcomings and pockets of gender discrimination here and there. We need to realise that gender equality is no longer relative, but must be absolute.


Political will and gender equality


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