Whats next for the womens movement?

After the prosperity of the Womens March, its Worldwide Womens Day on Wednesday 8 March. Here, 15 influential women, from Lena Dunham and Nicola Sturgeon to Susie Orbach, nominate an important next thing towards equality

Lena Dunham: continue protesting

I believe the activism and organisation thats happening now’s showing protest matters, calling your representatives matters, becoming involved with community organisations matters, delivering your donations each month matters. It’s never mattered more to appear together with your money, together with your body, together with your some time and together with your voice of computer does at this time. Many individuals had valid criticisms from the Womens March, however it was the biggest global protest you’ve seen and thats because everyone made careful analysis set time aside work, to provide of themselves, to provide their physiques and fill space and show they desired to refuse. That scares people as well as if at this time weren’t seeing the end result we would like, the federal government continues to be cautioned. They do know they aren’t supported. They’re fighting a constant fight against ladies and allies of equality throughout its forms.
Lena Dunham is definitely an actor, author, producer and director

Nicola Sturgeon: great childcare is how it starts

Its an origin of frustration that, decades on from legislation which was designed to create equality from the sexes, a lot of gaps remain. I’ve made equality a vital feature of my government, with a gender-balanced cabinet, certainly one of very couple of within the planet.

However, if there’s just one policy area which could permanently advance the reason for gender equality, In my opinion the solution lies away from the workplace itself, but in early years. Delivering top quality childcare as broadly as you possibly can is, In my opinion, important achieving the type of equal society that empowers women.

It’s a inescapable fact that, for a lot of women, the barrier to a better job comes when they’re confronted with juggling the competing demands of the job and families. As well as in a lot of cases, the possible lack of sufficient childcare turns into a decisive element in stopping women from ongoing their careers.

Improving access and affordability in childcare isn’t an easy challenge as well as itself won’t solve all gender equality issues. But it’s challenging which should be met as to provide a society which truly has equality of chance for women and men.
Nicola Sturgeon MSP is First Minister of Scotland

Signs of the times: protesters on the Womens March in London take a breather. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Naheed Farid: introduce bottom to top economic development

I represent women in the Afghanistan parliament, in a country that is one of the worst places to live as a woman. We suffer from violence, insecurity and lack of access to basic rights, such as education and health. We tried many things, such as investing in civil society organisations, education and democratic processes, but still Afghanistan stays the same. My analysis is that in order to ensure womens rights and equality in Afghanistan, and generally all around the world, we need to involve women in the production process, empowering women economically. We also need policies to make sure that the process of development is bottom to top, completely the opposite of what is practised right now. Womens inclusion in political, economic and social aspects of development can stabilise society by consistently empowering women and involving them in high-level decision-making processes.
Naheed Farid was elected MP this year at age 27

Nomboniso Gasa: civil action to protect our freedom from misogynistic world leaders

When I viewed Jesse Trumps inauguration, I observed something familiar within the body gestures between him and Melania. My thoughts flipped to President Jacob Zumas inauguration in ’09. He didnt even remember decide if his wife was comfortable. She trotted behind, with footwear which were too large on her. She might have tripped and that he will not have observed.

Individuals have discussed Trump and Zumas disdain for that judiciary, the metabolic rate, media and civil liberties. But they’re similar in different ways, including their public devaluing of ladies. Trumps tape about women tossing themselves to you, if you’re famous, advised me of Zumas statement when charged with rape. I’m not scared of women. They’re drawn to me. Why would I rape? Zuma should be envying Trump, though. He’s not able to turn back Constitutional Court decision enabling women to create choices about reproductive legal rights, bodily integrity and freedom of preference. His ANC is not likely to garner enough votes to alter the balance of Legal rights.

Contesting these men needs a careful unmasking of the devious narratives, coupled with social action in defence in our freedoms. This should be a properly-planned and sustained struggle against misogynistic bullies.
Nomboniso Gasa is really a South African investigator, author and analyst on land, politics, gender and cultural issues

Laura Bates: sex and relationships education for those schoolchildren

There’s just one, obvious action that experts agree might make a considerable difference. Within the last decade, campaigners, teachers, parents and pupils alike have advised successive governments to apply compulsory sex and relationships education (SRE) for those youthful people, including topics for example consent, healthy relationships, pornography, gender stereotypes and Gay and lesbian legal rights and relationships. Schools are presently only obliged to educate the biological basics of reproduction by age 15, without any compulsory coverage of issues, for example consent.

This could help safeguard vulnerable children who may be experiencing sexual abuse. It might create change for that many women who report undesirable sexual touching a kind of sexual assault. And, by educating youthful people regarding their legal rights and responsibilities, it might have an affect on the broader problem of sexual violence. With 85,000 women raped yearly and 2 women each week wiped out with a current or former partner in Britain, it is really an urgent priority.

We all know that youthful consumers face a bombardment of influences, from sexting to pornography. When we educate children how you can read maps to allow them to understand, and the way to do maths to allow them to exercise their alternation in a store, so why do we leave them shockingly ill-outfitted to navigate sexual relationships, a likewise universal existence experience? With 43% of youthful people reporting it normally won’t get any SRE whatsoever, we’re failing them and letting wider society lower too.
Laura Bates is founding father of the Everyday Sexism Project

Join the gang: women hold hands and share personal stories during the Dress Like A Woman rally and march, held to support womens rights and to protest against Donald Trump, in Seattle. Photograph: David Ryder/Reuters

Anne-Marie Imafidon: more women in science and tech jobs reflected in TV soaps

Ive always watched a lot of TV and when I was younger watched EastEnders. As an east Londoner it felt close enough to reality that I would get excited when they filmed on location trying to point out landmarks and guess the road. Soaps dont fully reflect reality, but they do try to stay current. These days most characters have a mobile phone and technology sometimes features in storylines.

In the battle for gender equality Id like to see the soaps embrace some new careers for their characters particularly the female ones.

Wheres Dot?

Oh, shes just taking air quality measurements in the square for her PhD thesis, shell meet us at the Queen Vic.

Normalising science and tech-related careers can start with a female character or two deciding to leave work at the chippy for a job at a digital start-up. Someone in Hollyoaks might strike up an affair with someone theyve met on an evening coding course (affairs happen all the time on soaps). Seeing these characters have breakfast, and fight with family while enjoying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) careers will work against the one-sided portrayals of Stem characters that we see in films and on TV. The small screen can do what Hollywood is beginning to do with films, like Hidden Figures the storyline of African-American ladies who helped Nasa.
Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE campaigns to obtain women into science, technology, engineering and maths

Li Maizi: create an worldwide pressure from the censoring of womens voices

The solution for me personally is chasing gender equality in China. It is my daily existence, making noises against all of the discrimination. So when we satisfy the backlash, we must stand together and fight. Like a lady, I’ve no country: my country is the world. And So I may also criticise Jesse Trump, who’s an upright man cancer.

In China, the area for civil movement has become more narrow. Probably the most effective Weibo [Chinas Twitter] accounts, Feminism Voice, continues to be blocked for publishing articles concerning the planned womens strike against Trump in america. Thus, not one issue is associated with one country, we have to fight together from the censoring of womens voices.
Li Maizi is among Chinas feminist five, arrested for over a month in 2015 for organising a protest against sexual harassment on buses and subways

Catherine Mayer: champion more shared parenting

There is no single fix since the mechanisms keeping women lower are intertwined. However, among the seven core objectives from the Womens Equality Party equal parenting and caregiving is capable by itself of making huge change. When we can shake the concept that childcare is mainly a moms responsibility, when we learn how to value the delinquent work now mainly carried out by women, only then do we also unpick a few of the reasons for the gender pay gap. There’s also methods to speed the procedure. In 1975, when 90% of Icelandic women left jobs and homes for the day, their male compatriots learned simply how much women do. Iceland now ranks because the worlds most gender-equal country. Im assisting to organise a Womens Day Off within the United kingdom the coming year.
Catherine Mayer may be the co-founding father of the Womens Equality Party and author of Attack from the Fifty Feet Women: How Gender Equality Can Help To Save the planet!

Magic circle: protesters chant against gender-based violence at their camp on La Puerta del Sol square in Madrid, Spain. Photograph: EPA

Stella Creasy: dont be a click-avist, get stuck in

The change we need to make is mobilisation. We have to sound the alarm. The worst thing we can do is despair. My message is, dont stand aside, get stuck in. Dont be a click-avist. Keep asking: What next? If you go on a march and think: Thats the job done, they win. A backlash is a reaction, so we have to keep taking action. I keep saying to people, I adore Martin Luther King, but he was wrong when he said: The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards progress. It doesnt, unless you fight for it.
Stella Creasy is MP for Walthamstow. Join her Feminist Action Network (

Liv Little: economic autonomy for ladies of colour

The face area of feminism Im encircled by is youthful and fresh. Feminism can be considered a vibrant, vibrant movement. Nevertheless its difficult. There are plenty of pressing issues for ladies. Whats vital is economic empowerment. I believe like a lady of colour its important that we’re running our very own companies, capable of supporting one another and generating our very own earnings to aid other youthful women of colour who’re approaching on the planet. Like a black female graduate youre prone to earn a great deal under your white-colored male counterparts. Youre more and more seeing women of colour in positions of power, but you may still find insufficient people in prominent positions.
Liv Little is editor-in-chief at gal-dem

Caitlin Moran: embrace our weakness and silliness

Guess what happens make us strong? Everything you believe really are a hindrance. Our strength is our weakness. Our passion for silly items to put on. Our passion for jokes. Around the Womens March, there have been countless weak women with buggies, with seniors relatives ladies who are disabled, or from minority groups putting on pink hats and holding placards. And our strength is, you cannot send armed police right into a crowd like this. There is no method to spin that footage. You cannot pretend its violent, radical extremists. There is no excuse to interrupt up. The less strong, sillier and funnier we’re, the greater impossible it’s to demonise us, or stop us, as a lot of protests happen to be stopped and demonised before. As things go backwards, we believe: We cant fight this, and the reply is we mustnt fight it.

Fighting is when it’s usually been done before. They understand how to stop fighters. However these old, white-colored, straight, angry men? It normally won’t understand how to stop pleasure, humour, knitted pink hats and buggies. We’re the pressure theyve never witnessed before. They’ve nothing within their box to counter this. This will be our strength. So we get it in endless amounts. We’re the 52%. So we can knit and joke the fuck from the revolution.
Caitlin Moran is definitely an author and columnist

Stepping up: women on the march in Montevideo, Uruguay. Photograph: Raul Martinez/EPA

Susie Orbach: defeat the merchants of body hatred

In a time of threat, the places we might be able to call home, our bodies, are being ripped apart by commercial pressures. They bear down on labias (too messy), faces (too tired), lips (too small), eyes (too hooded), breasts (too small, droopy or large) For each of these crazy designations, there are surgeries sold as empowering, sold as safe, sold as solutions. But whats the problem and who is generating it? Control girls and womens bodies whether by the purveyors of beauty, the cultural enforcers of female genital cutting, the anti-choice gang in the White House and insecurity is induced. Give girls as young as three cosmetic surgery games that divert their dreaming and imaginative energy into pursuits that hurt what it means to be a girl, and you ensure big profits and big body preoccupations for a lifetime. Its time to dare to feel OK in our bodies as they age and change.
Susie Orbach is really a psychotherapist, analyst and author

Paris Lees: real feminism excludes nobody

In case your push for social justice excludes women of colour or disabled women, trans women, sex workers, Muslims, Jews, the indegent you do not want equality, you would like privilege. Promoting women of the identical class and colour while ignoring and speaking over women less fortunate than yourself isnt feminism. Its supremacism. I originate from an assorted-race family. I love to think I understand a bit about racism. But I am not black. And So I listen. I follow feminists from minority backgrounds on social networking: Reni Eddo-Lodge, Nesrine Malik, Janet Mock, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Fatima Manji, Roxane Gay. Nearly all women voted for Hillary in america election, however a significant proportion white-colored women with no degree voted for Trump. Within the finish, their votes thrown it. This is exactly what can occur when women dont pull together. So lets pull together. Fascism has returned. Women are leading the resistance, but when we actually want decency to prevail, it is time to bring back also try this in the mists of your time: unity.
Paris Lees is really a journalist and transgender legal rights activist

Getting the message: a wall of signs outside the White House in Washington. Photograph: John Minchillo/AP

Mariella Frostrup: include boys in the conversation

Ive been a feminist since my lungs first filled with air, but Im weary of war and eager for a coalition. In my small corner of the western world its hard to find a man who doesnt believe his daughter, his wife, his sister, his mother or his colleagues to be his equal, yet we continue to mark out our battle lines on a gendered basis. No social revolution in the history of mankind has succeeded without the participation of both sexes so its time to invite the guys aboard. Instead of car ads that accept a woman can control a vehicle (doh!) Im more hopeful for one that entices a man to try a vacuum cleaner. Our ability to participate in a mans world is beyond dispute, but the jurys still out on our success in enticing men into what was once our domain. The proportion of women doing the worlds unpaid work has barely changed. The only difference is that most women today are holding down two jobs. It is stress levels, not our incomes, that are rising. Expectations of both sexes have changed beyond measure and the conversation needs to stop being so one-sided, which is why weve set up Great Men, opening conversations with boys in secondary schools exploring maleness and gender issues. To eradicate misogyny, we have to make certain boys receive the support and emotional investment they require.
Mariella Frostrup is really a broadcaster, columnist and co-founding father of the Great Initiative

Lisa Randall: finish the worry women feel

A problem for ladies around the world that’s unconditionally performed lower by insufficient sufficient attention is fear. The subject is broad and also the specifics take time and effort to deal with through existing systems, but whether it’s assault, online stalking, harassment, or undesirable encounters at the office or perhaps in schools, women are avoided from living their finest possible lives and from adding in the most important ways. Current systems address only very explicit danger. Even if your attacks are just upsetting, the resultant lack of diverse voices on the internet and elsewhere due to womens desire not to be susceptible to insults or insinuations, is really a loss to all of us all.
Lisa Randall is professor of science at Harvard College

Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/05/whats-next-for-the-womens-movement-march-equality

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