During the month of March, we take the time to learn and recognize women’s accomplishments and milestones throughout history. More specifically, we can focus on the efforts and challenges women have faced and continue to face to secure the protection and expansion of rights. Additionally, we must also focus our attention on the current fights for women’s protection and equity, so we know how to contribute where we can and give recognition where needed. Let’s highlight current movements for the advancement of women today!
In Kazakhstan, Dina Smailova leads the “Don’t Keep Silent” movement for justice for sexual violence survivors. Her efforts focus on advocating for the opportunity for free legal support to survivors, especially considering how drastically women have been affected in this regard after COVID-19 hit. Because domestic violence is not currently a criminal offense in Kazakhstan, Dina fights for the right to protection orders against aggressors, as she knows it would make a difference in protecting survivors.
Intersecting forms of discrimination is a prevalent issue as it relates to women of color and women with disabilities. Noberta V. Soares da Cruz advances the fight for greater accessibility in the workplace so that the needs of people with disabilities are accurately met. Additionally, having more women in decision-making positions would provide a voice for women overall to combat such issues. This is a goal we can all contribute to by advancing women into policy-making decisions and getting involved in high-ranking circles.
In South Sudan, Sara Nayajuok works to tackle the rise in domestic violence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a gender-based violence counselor, Sara provides a safe space and services for survivors of domestic abuse. These efforts are like those put forth by DeeCilla here in the United States. With our resources and transitional housing, we have contributed to helping the dangerous situation that the pandemic has created for many single women and mothers.
It is evident our fight for protections and equality isn’t over. Though women have come an exceptionally long way, there are still battles we must fight together to put an end to the atrocities many women continue to face. Many times, we have the capacity to take action, but unfortunately sometimes all we can do is raise awareness. Regardless, raising awareness, as we’ve done just now, often goes a longer way than given credit for, especially when it can save a life. I encourage you to take some form of action when the opportunity presents itself and to initiate activism when necessary. You never know the impact a single person can have on an entire group of people!