International Women’s Day
The Literal Battleground Over Womens Equality
Date: Monday, March 12, 2012
Continuing to treat women's rights as matters for the private sphere and therefore "beyond the reach of the law" remains the single biggest threat to women's progress.
The Guyana Human Rights Association in a press release to mark International Women's Day (IWD) noted that much work still needs to be done in the area of Gender Equality and that IWD is intended to remind us all that the challenge of creating conditions in which all women have opportunities to fulfill their potential and develop their talents remains unfinished business.
The release noted that the real and literal battleground over women's equality is in those areas where equality is not defined by comparing women to men, or enjoying what men already have, but starting at the point of what women need in order to flourish as women. The traditional way of not addressing this area of women's rights (which include bodily integrity, security and access to personal and family resources) has been to declare them to be in the "private" sphere and , therefore, beyond the reach of the law. This technique of defining a world still dominated by men as public space and what occurs there as the business of the State and what occurs to women as "private", remains the biggest challenge for women's progress.
Most of the progress achieved by women has followed expansion of opportunities notably in education, sports, careers and the arts. Women flourishing in these areas; has not entailed reduction of opportunities for males. More importantly, women have flourished in these areas on terms set by men, most notably the importance assigned to competition. Greater equality in these areas has been achieved essentially by extending to women opportunities men already enjoyed.