International Women’s Day: Radical changes for a just society

DiEM25’s women highlight the changes that must be implemented to achieve a more just and equitable world

International Women’s Day is upon us, a chance to celebrate and commemorate the achievements and contributions made for and by women across the world.

Yet it is also a stark reminder as to the progress that still needs to be made to achieve true equality and fairness across society. Therefore, we asked the women of DiEM25 to propose the most important and radical changes that need to be implemented in order for this to happen.

Nadia Sales Grade, DiEM25’s press and media relations coordinator, gave three clear and concise suggestions that would help to stop common gender-based discrimination.

Gender training: “All EU teachers and school staff need to be trained to know how to deal with gender equality and discrimination, to teach both girls and boys the mutual respect there has to exist for us to live in a peaceful, equal and free society.”

Violence prevention policies: “Policies to prevent all types of gender violence, whether it be in schools, in work or in the household.”

Salary equality: “This is maybe the easiest tool politicians have in their hands to make change happen and they don’t…because most are men. And they are protecting MANkind…”

Judith Meyer, our IT coordinator, spelled out the persistent problem of sexual violence against women and the measures that must be taken to eradicate it in all forms.

“For me, the highest priority when it comes to improving the situation of women is tackling sexual violence. Adult women show a significantly higher rate of mental health issues (e.g. depression, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, dissociation) than men, but the rate is the same among both genders until puberty and is still the same at later ages if you subtract the women who have experienced sexual assault by that age.

“The biggest change has to come from men. I don’t expect predators to change their ways, but the rest has to change: when someone tells you how they touched a woman inappropriately or how they overcame the resistance of a woman who didn’t want to have sex with them, make it clear that this behaviour is dead wrong. Right now, too many men admire other men who can get sex from unwilling women.”

Highlighting the fact that the court system often excuses sexual assault, Judith suggested that this problem could be addressed by “passing a new law that makes it a misdemeanour for judges and policemen to laugh at the victim, blame the victim, or try to prevent the case from going forward.”

In addition, we should “also require 20 percent of the country’s police force each year to go through training on how to deal compassionately with victims of sexual violence, so that within five years we might have a vastly improved reporting situation.”

Our CC member Defne Dalkara highlighted the importance of care work and basic services being freely and widely available.

“Care work must truly be a choice: To be able to say yes without having to lose income or opportunity. To be able to say no and be provided with high quality care options provided freely for all in need.

“Universal basic services must be within reach for everyone across the board, while there should also be an end to conspicuous consumption – i.e. wasteful and unnecessary consumption – and advertising.”

 

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