What if you were not allowed to have a voice and share what you think just because of your gender? How would that make you feel? Well, this is a common thing that happens in our country and across the world. That is why I am focusing on Women’s Rights as my Exhibition topic. I want this to stop. Our class Central Idea is, “Global opportunities may create conflict between people and other living things.” Our groups Central Idea had to be based on our class Central Idea. It is, “Changing global perspectives may create equal rights for females.” Within our group, each member has their own line of inquiry. My line of inquiry is, “The gender inequality of freedom of speech.” During my presentation, I will present three main ideas, or three key concepts. Those are the causation of the gender inequality of freedom of speech, how the gender inequality of freedom of speech has changed, and how the gender inequality of freedom of speech is connected to getting a proper education as a female.
First, there is definite cause for the gender inequality of freedom of speech. The biggest cause besides personal beliefs and religion, is government. The government has a high authority with lots of power and control towards their citizens. Take for example North Korea. They control the television that people watch as well as the advertisements that people can view. They do this because they don’t want anyone to accept any other global perspectives aside from the ones in North Korea. If anyone speaks out against this, it is considered a crime and they are either executed or sent to labor camps that literally torture people. If they have any other perspectives or political opinions, they are sent to labor camps. This is all because they don’t want their citizens to have a freedom of speech; this also includes males along with females. Despite this being against North Korean laws, that doesn’t stop the North Korean government from limiting the rights for citizens in North Korea. Similarly, in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan, they also limit their citizens and especially women’s freedom of speech. For example, in Saudi Arabia, women couldn’t drive until recently. A female activist named Manal Al-Sharif took video of her driving before it was legal for her to drive and she was arrested for speaking out against this problem. This means that her freedom of speech was not valued because they did not listen to what she was standing up for. These government leaders and followers that cause this believe that this issue is okay; something that does not need any changing or needs to be stopped. They think this because they are benefitting from gender inequality. They are gaining power and authority over women. In my opinion this is not okay.
The gender inequality of freedom of speech has changed over time. The biggest change has been in the United States. Women were not allowed to vote and express what they thought was right during elections until the 1920s. Men believed that women would not vote because it would not change the outcome of the votes, and because it would change the society so both men and women are equal. Another example of change is in Saudi Arabia. Schools were not open to women until 1955 and the first college for women was opened in 1970. In 2005, forced marriages for women were banned. In 2009, king Abdullah chose the first female government minister named Noura al-Fayez. In 2012 the first female Olympic athletes were allowed to go to the Olympics. A year after that women were allowed to ride bikes and scooters. In 2015, women were allowed to vote and 3 years after that, in 2018, they were allowed to visit sports stadiums and games. This is all very recent. These changes are slowly giving females voices and their freedom of speech. It also shows that people still believe that women don’t deserve the same rights as men because in Saudi Arabia, women don’t have nearly as many rights as women in the U.S. If they did believe that women were equal with men, than there would be no rules or laws against women’s rights; especially their freedom of speech.
If your freedom of speech is limited, than you might not have the same educational opportunities as men. Take for example Malala Yousafzai. She is a young women from Pakistan. She wanted to go to school and learn just like boys. However, the Taliban stopped her by shooting her in the head. They didn’t want a girl to speak out against a problem that was going on in that country; therefore, her freedom of speech was not valued and was ignored. They attempted to silence her; they failed.She survived and she still speaks out today against educational opportunities for females and all kids using her freedom of speech. This shows what your freedom of speech can do. It can teach others about world problems, and without a freedom of speech, you can’t express what you feel and why you feel it.
Why Fight for This?
People are speaking out against this because women are not being listened to. One really common example of this is abuse. Women are often abused by others in bad ways. They are assaulted and physically hurt. During an interview with an attorney named Christine Hendrickson, she told me that if women speak out against this, they sometimes are simply are not believed. She said that in common situations, women will tell police about any kind of abuse that has happened to them and they sometimes simply don’t believe them. This means that these people who aren’t believing any of these women are not listening to their voice and what they have to say. This relates back to the freedom of speech of females. People are fighting for this because lots of people believe that women deserve equal rights as men. According to a recent survey sent out to our local community, about 90% of the people that took the survey said that they believed that women should have equal pay, equal job opportunities, equal educational opportunities, and equal freedom of speech. This means that our local community cares about this problem. Consequently, we need to take action towards this problem not only because our community cares about it, but also because it is a global problem that I am passionate towards. This problem affects lots of people. It makes it so women can’t have their voices valued which usually makes it so men are dominant. This means that our society is not balanced. If our society is unbalanced, that will result in inequality and unhappiness. We do not want this. In fact, this is what we want to prevent. There is conflict between people who believe that this is okay and people who think that this not okay. People just need to realize that everyone deserves the same rights and should have the same freedom of speech.
There are no local actions that I know of that are going towards the issue of women’s rights. However, our group plans on addressing an action plan to our local community. Our group plans on baking goods at a bake sale to raise awareness towards our cause. We plan on selling sugar cookies with a yin and yang on the top with the colors pink and blue representing males and females. The symbol would show the coexistence between males and females and how they can be together without any conflict. During the end of our presentation, our group will hand out flyers that will inform students about the bake sale that we will have. We will also have students sign a small peace treaty that will make sure that all students are fair to one and another. This will bring a positive impact about this problem to the local community of our school, and that is exactly what we want to do.
To conclude, I believe that all women should have equal freedom of speech so our society is balanced. I believe that all women should have their voices heard so they can spread their intelligence and ideas to the world. They should not be limited just because of their gender. A few things cause the gender inequality of freedom of speech, the main being government, and others being religion and personal beliefs. Women’s freedom of speech has changed over time in a positive way and I hope it continues to through out the future. Freedom of speech is also related to getting a proper education. To help with this problem, always let your peers and people around you express their opinions. Be aware if you witness any unfairness between genders and just remember what is right.