Take Them Out of the Bell Jar

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Women often viewed as the fragile sex, have been fighting hard for more than a century against the patriarchal society. However, now more than ever, their voices are being heard.

Even though all the discussions around women’s rights and gender equality that have been happening mainly since the past century, feminism is still a controversial topic that generates discomfort and grabs the attention of those who whether are in favor or not all over the globe. The good thing about that is that now more than ever women’s voices are becoming stronger, as it was possible to admire and applaud this morning on December 10th at UCD Dublin.

The humanitarian event ‘Localisation under the Looking Glass; a feminist perspective’ organized by ActionAid Ireland & Oxfam Ireland on behalf of the Dóchas Humanitarian Aid Working Group (HAWG) aimed to answer ‘what the international humanitarian community can do to shift the power from the global to the local with women leading from the front’, and did it with perfection.

Counting with two international – female – speakers the event discussed feminism, its importance, and humanitarian work when it concerns the global south. It also brought up localization as a key point to shift the power and help the leading of the local organizations.

The first speech came from Naomi Tulay Solanke of the Feminist Humanitarian Network. The Liberian feminist, human rights and humanitarian activist, as well as, Founding Executive Director of Community Health Initiative (CHI), voiced that “we put people under the looking glass”, referring to how per times the society victimizes and diminish women of instead empower them.

Naomi also raised important questions to the audience (most covered by women from NGOs and CBOs and a few males). The human rights activist asked what the more powerful economically and globally organizations can do to look at the local levels with a more humanitarian view, as it is necessary to “shift the power and decentralize the leadership and funds”.

Clare Bleasdale, a Global Accountability in Emergencies Advisor with ActionAid Kenya was the second expected speaker and gave a brilliant speech about how the NGOs and mainly the ActionAid work to ensure that people in an emergency situation will be the opportunity to have a better life, “we see emergencies as on opportunity to change […] it’s about doing things differently, not doing different things”.

As well as Naomi, the emergencies advisor pointed how necessary empowerment is, how it can make a huge difference on the communities and said that it is a challenging job, that collect data is hard many times due to the situation people life on communities like poverty for example, but even though that it must be done.

After the speeches, the organizers proposed a panel where great questions were made to Naomi and Clare like how a male can be part of the empowering work. And then the audience was divided into groups and became responsible for answering questions related to the presentations.

From 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, a short period of time as it seemed the audience looked famine to devour a bit more of the content, the humanitarian event expressed how feminism is important, but also how to understand each location as a unique place helps the empowerment.

What is your view about feminism? Tell us in the comment box!

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