It’s a Bad Mad Man’s World
If you talk to men, even educated and supposedly world wise men, they all huff at gender equality and gender mainstreaming as bullshit coming from angry and frustrated women who do not know what they want. These type of men may prevent women from achieving their human rights. Also, these elements should never stop us from fighting for our right to have our existence acknowledged as more than simply natural means of the continuation of the human race, or as cultivated domestic servants.
Now, I’m not a feminist, and I don’t believe all men are dogs, but the balance is in favour of men, unless it is in the man’s interest that a woman should be allowed to progress. In this connection, there is believed to be a glass ceiling which women still have to crack to be considered equal to men. From my experiences, there is an impenetrable cement wall, albeit a thin one. The man at the top will never accept a well-educated, competent woman with a mind of her own, unless she will flash her bosom in his face and shake her legs to attract his attention. A woman who is competent and respects herself has no place in the professional world of NGOS and international development. After all, it is a fluffy field where skills and expertise is not a requirement, as opposed to law, accountancy & finance or IT. So if you’re university educated to work in the development field, it is a waste of time and money and you might as well set up your own business because that is the only way out to financial independence and to prove your education was a worthy investment.
Regarding the gender and development concern of mainstreaming and equality, a gender expert at the University of London said that instead of focusing on women’s right as a separate issue/concern developmentalists, economics, political scientists and legal experts should include a gendered focus as an integral part of their analyses. After all women constitute 50% of the world population and they suffer the most from the structural inequalities of oppression. The above mentioned gender expert also said in the Arab world, women have always participated in protest movements against oppression. They do not need Western feminists to tell them what to do. I think that is a common trait in the Muslim world. True, due to illiteracy, low literacy levels, despite the abuses against her from society, or even her in-laws, lack of freedom of mobility, ignorance and lack of awareness of their rights is common. However, within the domestic sphere a woman reigns.
In a final note, she can manipulate the surroundings to her benefit to the extent that the husband has to oblige. Of course there are extreme cases where the wife is burnt alive or thrown acid in her face, or publicly raped. However, this is where the good of NGOs reign large. Thanks to their presence, women have a voice. So, for whatever their worth, in some instances, NGOs do challenge the status quo in such a way that the filthy underdog’s voice has to be heard. An opportunity to gain credibility is like finding a treasure at the end of the rainbow-a rare opportunity you only get once in a blue moon, if ever.