By Simran Cheema
Over the course of the last 100 years, the overall situation of women in the society has improved significantly. However, there is still a long way to go before we could really consider it equal to men. Even today, women around the world are constantly oppressed, from Asia to America. Their fight is getting more difficult and strenuous day by day so much so that their fight for their rights can put them in danger of risking their very lives. Many women across the globe are living with the sense of fear, anxiety, hopelessness, insomnia, loss and helplessness. It doesn’t happen in just a few countries constantly found in the headlines, but in other countries as well.
In Afghanistan, the women are almost completely stripped of their rights. They aren’t allowed to decide their clothing, forced to be covered fully and only be seen walking outside with sandals, no high-heels and no make-up. Not only that, they aren’t allowed to be seen without a male figure, or mahram. If they aren’t seen with one, they aren’t either detained or not allowed to continue further. They even have restrictions upon what types of cell phones they can use. They are restricted to nokia phones, which have limited access to features. They are restricted to the point where they are unable to do nothing more than staying home. Even going outside could risk their health, as for the tiniest mistake, they can be punished to death.
Extremist groups are constantly pushing women under in society everywhere. In Syria, women aren’t able to leave the house without a male guardian, they have to follow the religious dress code detailed by Syria’s extremist groups and are put in environments where they aren’t able to live freely and lack education. They are constantly pushed down in society, forever unable to prosper and protect themselves from the misogynistic groups.
There is another country struggling with women’s rights. The case here is different, as there aren't any laws specifically targeting women in Democratic Republic of Congo. But, rather, women aren’t respected in society. They can't reach high positions in the country - currently only 7.2% of women in the country hold positions of high importance in the country. In the current violent affairs occuring in the country, around 1 million women have gotten unnecessarily involved and raped. In fact, 52% of the women there are survivors of domestic violence. Females in the country have less access to education and can’t access many jobs in the market. This is affecting their growth, as they are to be constantly dependent upon the male figures in their life.
Lastly in Nigeria, women are suffering through the difficulties of life by being restricted to only their “traditional” roles of giving birth to a child. There are almost 7 children produced per woman in Nigeria due to the push for women to produce babies as soon as possible during marriage. 75% of the girls are married before the age of 18. The child marriages cause worry among women as they fear it would interfere with their possibility to gain education in the country. In fact, most don’t have access to education and are illiterate. Without their husbands, they aren’t able to do much, they would be nothing.
We at the Princeton Foundation dream of improving the situation for women across the globe. If we all unite to participate in the fight for women’s rights and spread information about this topic, we will be making changes to this problem. Creating awareness will raise more to fight for improving the rights of women around the world.