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Archive for March 14th, 2010

Humanity before Gender by Hadia Saad

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 14, 2010

Humanity before Gender

In the name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

Having just recently returned from the 54th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations (UN), I can say that although women have made many strides in society, we seem to have lost sight of what it is we really want. Sitting through one high plenary meeting after the other and listening to different NGO’s (non-governmental organisations) talking about what women still want, I found myself thinking that not only do we want it all but we really don’t know what that means. Do we want to be the same as men or be treated as equal human beings in society? Do we want to be mothers and wives or just career women? Whatever it is that we want, we need to realise that we need to do the work ourselves and not rely on governments and organisations to do it for us.

I look to the women of the suffragette movement. They wanted to be treated as equal human beings and they wouldn’t take no for an answer. They had justice on their side and when we take that out of the equation we lose! Women want justice. That may not mean being the same as men. I am certainly not like my husband; my Creator made me differently. I have a different role to play in society which is not to say that my role is any less important than my husband’s role. On the contrary my role complements his as his complements mine. We are Ying and Yang.

In every society women are under immense pressure either from culture and tradition or from the constraints that rules and regulations put on them. For a long time, women have unfortunately accepted the situation in their own community or have not used the right method to fight for their rights. Instead of facing and taking a stance against tradition and correcting the culture they live in and working towards enriching their position, we see women turn to foreign societies for solutions. They seem to run away from what is happening in their own communities only to adopt others values, not realising that those communities have their own set of problems. So instead of freedom, we see women adopt a new form of oppression from a foreign society.

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Women and Success – Is Hard Work Enough? by Rita Payne

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on March 14, 2010

Rita Payne

Women and Success – Is Hard Work Enough?


On the face of it 2010 hasn’t been bad for women so far. Kathryn Bigelow’s triumph at the Oscars, as the first woman ever to win the Best Film Award, couldn’t have been better timed, coming as it did on the eve of International Women’s Day.

Then on Tuesday (March 9) India passed an important milestone  – the  Upper House of Parliament approved a bill to reserve a third of all seats in the national parliament and state legislatures for women. The fact that there were noisy protests from opponents of the bill resulting in the suspension of 7 MPs indicates that the battle for stronger representation for women is far from over. The Bill, which was first proposed in 1996, still has to be passed by the Lower House of Parliament, though it looks as though it has enough support to win approval.

There is no doubt that women have come a long way in the last hundred years or so. According to the Independent, today in some highly paid professions such as medicine, there are more female entrants than male, because women are outranking men in academic performance. So, yes, there has been progress but how deep is this?


In my years in the media I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with many successful women and note the frustrations of others who’ve failed to make the progress they felt they deserved. The media is a particularly difficult field because it’s so highly competitive. It’s seen as glamorous and exciting and competition is fierce with men and women vying for relatively few jobs. Once you get in, it’s tough to move from one rung to the next. Besides, the work is so pressurised everyone has to give 110 per cent. Forget 9 to 5 cosy hours, there are a bewildering range of shifts and patterns with unsocial hours. Night shifts, 15 hour days, you can be on call at night on weekends, over Christmas, New Year and other public holidays.

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