What is there to write about women that has not been said until now? In our society, the women who break down barriers are those who ignore limits. As a whole, women are setting their footsteps in every field today, but there are so many voices which are silenced just because of some ‘customs’ and ‘superstitions’. Not only are these girls entangled in the strings of society but also in the fear that the ‘men’ have created. Every minute a girl is raped, molested or harassed; in many of these situations the girls don’t only suffer from the criticism of the society, but also their own families.
The inferiority of women is man- made. Women face more barriers in the workplace than men do. Gender-related barriers involve sexual harassment, unfair hiring practices, career progression, and unequal pay where women are paid less than men for performing the same job. The growing access of the internet in the late 20th century has allowed women to empower themselves by using various tools on the Internet. With the introduction of social media, women have begun to use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to give their voices a light. Through online activism, women are able to empower themselves by organizing campaigns and voicing their opinions for equality rights without feeling oppressed by members of society.
This world is designed in a way to constantly make a women feel like she is not enough. From the beauty industry to class systems to luxury lifestyles; everything is designed to:
1. Give you an accomplishment..like “you belong here”
2. That you are never going to be enough.
Even if she feels like a hundred is against her, she should stand for herself.
“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.”- Michelle Obama.
The term “empowerment of women” refers to the process of providing power to women to stand up against the control of others and help them to lead a prosperous and successful life. Historically, women have been regarded as a weaker constituent of society. Women play a role that is very important to the development of our communities and our nations, however, to this day women are facing a lot of challenges. We must work to put an end to such challenges. Women and girls in our rural communities are not recognized for their great contribution to the development of our nation. These women and girls should not be seen as a weaker class of people, they should be respected for their great contribution to the nation.
If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one woman change it. Some men think earning money and ordering others around is where the power lies. They don’t know that the power is in the hands of the woman who takes care of everyone all day long, and gives birth to their children.
Lastly, it’s not about who is superior, it is about who raises a voice against the odds to starts a revolution that brings about a change to incite a symptom of Peace and Unity.
“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” ― Malala Yousafzai
Women with wings began as a dream. A dream to empower and educate women. Given the immense stigma existent in society surrounding women’s’ bodies and what people can or cannot say about their own bodies, the best place to begin this discussion would naturally be right there. In developing countries such a Sri lanka the discussion on women’s’ health is entirely limited. The necessary actions for diagnosis is stigmatised. When we look across all diseases, it is known that women on average have a tendency to be diagnosed later than men while women also have an enhanced vulnerability to diseases. A number of health issues affect only women and others are more common in women, many diseases affect women differently and may even require distinct treatment. What’s more, men and women may have the same condition, but different symptoms.
In many countries around the world and in Sri Lanka, women are not well educated about diseases they may have or the symptoms to identify them. They also often face inequality whether in offices or at home. ‘Women with Wings’ was proposed by the Rotaract Club of IIT as a women empowerment campaign, to educate the women of Sri Lanka on these life-threatening diseases that they are more prone to and those that only affect women. It also focuses empowering women to take up pivotal roles in the society.
Women with Wings also hopes to reduce the number of casualties each year by these diseases that are specific to women that can be treated if detected earlier. One of the main issues of the symptoms going unnoticed is that most women are unaware of the signs and symptoms of these life-threatening diseases and play it off as a minor disease ultimately resulting in severe casualties. Thus, ‘Women with Wings’ was proposed with an aim to change this situation.
Women with Wings phase 01 was a workshop which was held on the 9th of September 2018 at MAS hive. Phase 01 was the first of many workshops that is to be conducted in Sri Lanka, mainly within Colombo while starting out and later in the rural areas. The workshop was open for everyone willing to come and was for both the genders. The workshop was held by guest speakers Dr. Samanthi Premaratne, a Gynaecological Oncologist who joined us to talk about diseases that are common in women such as PCOS, sexually transmitted diseases, Breast cancer, cervical cancer etc. and how to identify the symptoms correctly beforehand, and Ms. Gaia Kodituwakku, a fitness trainer and an online personality also attended the seminar as a guest speaker to speak about women empowerment and her struggles as a woman in the industry and how to overcome the issues women face in the world.
This project took a major step in opening the discussion on the stigmas women face around the world, and will hopefully create an avalanche effect on essential discussions to be had and changes to be made in the proper education and empowerment of women.
“The empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description” – Steve Maraboli