We look forward to celebrating International Women’s Day and all that has been achieved in the fight for Gender Equality on March 8th. There is increasing societal, economic, cultural and political achievement by women all over the world. However, we must remember that the struggle is not over. We must continue to ensure that women all over the world have free access to universal human rights and are free from intimidation, violence and oppression.
The Hope Foundation is proud to announce the launch of our #SHEis4Parity campaign to raise awareness of women’s issues and celebrate women from all over the world. YOU can get involved by sharing your thoughts, views and stories on these issues. Use the #SHEis4Parity hashtag, share our informative posts on Facebook, and join the conversation on Twitter @HopeFoundation. Or, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas on how to celebrate across social media.
Last year, our #SHEis campaign reached over 70,000 people across social media. Women (and men!) from the areas of business, politics, entertainment, science and advocacy lent us their voice for a series of inspirational quotes on global women’s rights. The Hope Foundation was proud to demonstrate Ireland’s solidarity with worldwide efforts to improve the lives of underprivileged women, not only in India where we work but all over the globe. This year, we launch #SHEis4Parity, aligning with the International Women’s Day 2016 theme “Pledge for Parity”.
The Hope Foundation (HOPE) was established in 1999, to build one girls home. 16 years later our team work with 14 local Indian NGOs on the ground in India, primarily Kolkata, providing support to programmes such as child protection and shelter, education, healthcare and vocational training. The rights of vulnerable girls and women remain central to our strategy.
India is ‘the most dangerous place in the world to be born a girl’ (United Nations, 2012). Gender imbalance is visible throughout India. From conception, discriminatory practices in favour of sons are evident; detrimental for their female counterparts. Horrendous crimes such as the stoning of rape victims, infanticide, female genital mutilation, bride burning, dowry deaths and domestic violence is on a scale unparalleled elsewhere in the world.
In West Bengal alone, where HOPE operates, 19,000 women and children were reported missing in 2011 (United Nations). Child brides, child labour, abduction, trafficking, sex-selective abortion, forced sexual exploitation and prostitution, violence against women and rapes, are all daily features in the lives of girls as young as three years of age throughout India. Over 6,000 women are murdered annually due to dowry across India (United Nations, 2011). These severe human rights violations and this cycle of discrimination have undermined millions of Indian women, rendering them voiceless and leaving them vulnerable to mass exploitation.
Our campaign #SHEis4Parity calls for ALL women globally to unite and highlight gender imbalance. Men are welcome to join too. Lend your voice to our campaign, like so many other women have already, and lets spread the campaign to ensure Gender Equality issues are addressed immediately! To join in the debate share your views on gender issues and women’s rights on Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn and Instagram and use the #SHEis4Parity hashtag!