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Today is Women’s Equality Day, and what better way to bring awareness than by sharing this interview with Equality Now’s Global Executive Director, Yasmeen Hassan.
I had the honor to meet this inspirational woman at Blogher this past summer. It was there that she educated me on Equality Now, a human rights organization focused on the rights of women and girls worldwide. Founded 25 year ago, since the human rights community did not believe women’s rights qualify as human rights instead being labeled at “culture”.
Equality Now aimed to change that paradigm, starting to work with sexual assaults as a weapon of war. Initially seen as an unfortunate consequence of war, not as a strategy. They continued to work on female genital mutilation which was seen as a cultural practice, but now is a human right’s violation.
Today, they are work on sex trafficking and tourism, child marriage, honor crimes and everything that affects women around the world. Working with foreign governments, Equality Now creates law that not only protect women, but provides them with rights.
Although it may seem that the United States is leading the charge for Women’s Equality, according to World Economic Forum, the United States is ranked 45 out of 144 countries. Startled by this fact, I asked Hassan what she suggests both men and women in this country do to raise our ranking. Her response, “We still have yet to have a women president, there is an under representation of women in congress, corporate boards and we are a very sexist society.” She points out that we are dealing with sexual assaults in both the military, college campuses, high school and the way that our legal system deals with it is something that women should not be proud of.
It is important for women, not only today, but everyday to continue to advocate for both women’s right and equality all over the world. We must use our voices for those who cannot.
Haute and Holistic is proud that our first Shero is Yasmeen Hassan, who advocates for women around the world. Thank you for this interview. Please watch below:
If you would like to donate to Equality Now, please click here.