On June 21, I decided to take a stand against patriarchy. I wrote an open letter to the current Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, accompanied by an awareness video, and launched an online campaign – #FiftyForHer
Despite having only around 350 followers on my Instagram handle, the video went viral and received thousands of views, including many positive responses. I felt reassured. I stood on the right side of history.
My understanding of patriarchy
Patriarchy is a perceptual poison that has crippled us for thousands of years. This poison influences one’s mind to depict male as a superior gender which results in biases, dominance, discrimination, dowries, rapes, female infanticide, and various other injustice towards women.
Despite the awareness efforts of various people both in the past and the present, patriarchy continues to corrupt the majority of humans, globally, on every level: it influences families, communities, workplace, politics, art, music, etc., conveniently disrupting the growth and progress of womankind and thereby, humankind.
UN reports almost 90% of men and women are biased against women. 90% is a huge and dangerous number for a ‘smart generation’ claiming to represent the age of information.
Detoxifying our world from patriarchy
Imagery is everything! Humans, even though we think we are reasonable, we are not! Our thoughts and actions are driven by complex emotions.
Perhaps that explains why females are still constantly underrepresented, targeted and mercilessly discriminated against everywhere – despite years of International Women’s Day celebrations or engaging social media posts on gender equality by ‘verified’ influencers and brands.
At the current rate, gender equality in the highest positions of power can take another 130 years to achieve.
Unlike others, I strongly believe in practical but bold models that work. We need men and women to develop faith in the capabilities of women. For this to happen, the world needs to see women leaders on the pedestals of power, proudly standing alongside men, flocking in large numbers, thundering floors of national parliaments, and boldly taking questions from journalists in international summits.
In my open letter, I proposed three points:
Declare a mandatory 50% reservation on key government/political positions for women in all nations.
Reason – It’s fair. As almost 90% of all men and women carry some sort of bias towards women as leaders, males by default have an added advantage while climbing towards top hierarchies of power, the very fact that “Women serve as heads of state or government in only 22 countries, and 119 countries have never had woman leader” screams – women citizens, everywhere, deserve a reservation system in politics!
Acknowledge and categorise ‘systemic denial of the administrative privilege to women in patriarchal cultures,’ and draft strong policies to rectify it.
Reason – 193 countries = 193 different customs and political systems. One approach may not work for all. There needs to be an elaborate multinational study to have a right understanding as to how, and to what extent, patriarchy has been instrumental in denying women’s right to rule, starting with nations that have never seen a single women leader.
Slap international sanctions, diplomatic pressure & public embarrassment for countries that have fewer women leaders.
Reason – Women are humans. Hence, women rights are human rights. UN in the past has slapped sanctions on many countries that have violated human rights.
The ruling administration of any given country should face the heat if it doesn’t provide equal status to its female citizens as it grants to its male citizens.
I acknowledge the above sounds a little far-fetched but it can at least get the real talks started.
The world listens, when the UN speaks
I beg to differ with anyone who thinks that the United Nations is not strong enough to bring reform of this magnitude. UN can be the best trendsetter.
Not millions, Covid-19 would have probably killed billions of lives, if the world didn’t have UN’s WHO, as the central authority to alert nations by officially declaring Covid-19 infection as “The Global Pandemic.”
Similarly, I believe, if the UN advocates strong on women’s equal representation in politics, categorises ‘denial of women’s right to rule’ as the violation of human rights, and mandates punishments for countries who do not follow –
Gender equality would soon trend and be the new normal, and human civilisation would slowly sober up from the dangerous hallucinations of patriarchy.
“Male privilege” could soon become a thing from the past, and women, while solving women issues could also help solve world issues. In my video below, I have explained how more women leaders could be the ultimate solution to global issues like pollution, water scarcity and shrinking penises:
(Pralakshya Sharma is the author of The Crown Of Intelligence and is from Sikkim. He can be reached at email@example.com)