Speech on girl power: Meghan Markle’s girl power UN speech on gender equality that put her on the map

Meghan Markle’s girl power UN speech on gender equality that put her on the map

When I was just eleven years old, I unknowingly and somehow accidentally became a female advocate. It was around the same time as the Beijing conference, so a little over twenty years ago, where in my hometown of Los Angeles a pivotal moment reshaped my notion of what is possible.

See, I had been in school watching a TV show in elementary school, and this commercial came on with the tagline for this dishwashing liquid and the tagline said, ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.’ Two boys from my class said, ‘Yeah, that’s where women belong, in the kitchen.’

Meghan Markle at the UN Women conference in 2015 where she made this speech.

I remember feeling shocked and angry and also just feeling so hurt; it just wasn’t right, and something needed to be done. So I went home and told my dad what had happened, and he encouraged me to write letters, so I did, to the most powerful people I could think of.


Now my eleven-year-old self worked out that if I really wanted someone to hear me, well then I should write a letter to the First Lady. So off I went, scribbling away to our First Lady at the time, Hillary Clinton. I also put pen to paper and I wrote a letter to my news source at the time, Linda Ellerbee, who hosted a kids news program, and then to powerhouse attorney Gloria Allred,
because even at eleven I wanted to cover all my bases. Finally I wrote to the soap manufacturer.

And a few weeks went by and to my surprise I received letters of encouragement from Hillary Clinton, from Linda Ellerbee, and from Gloria Allred. It was amazing. The kids news show, they sent a camera crew to my home to cover the story, and it was roughly a month later when the soap manufacturer, Procter & Gamble, changed the commercial for their Ivory Clear dishwashing liquid. They changed it from ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’ to ‘People all over America’. It was at that moment that I realized the magnitude of my actions. At the age of eleven I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality.

Now, equality means that President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, whose country I recently visited as part of my learning mission with UN Women, it means that he is equal to the little girl in the Gihembe refugee camp who is dreaming about being president one day. Equality means that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is equal to the young intern at the UN who is dreaming about shaking his hand. It means that a wife, it means that a wife is equal to her husband; a sister to her brother. Not better, not worse – they are equal.

UN Women, as you guys know, has defined the year 2030 as the expiration date for gender inequality. And here’s what’s staggering: the studies show that at the current rate, the elimination of gender inequality won’t be possible until 2095. That’s another eighty years from now. And when it comes to women’s political participation and leadership the percentage of female parliamentarians globally has only increased by 11 per cent since 1995.

Eleven per cent in twenty years? Come on. This has to change. Women make up more than half of the world’s population and potential, so it is neither just nor practical for their voices, for our voices, to go unheard at the highest levels of decision-making. The way that we change that, in my opinion, is to mobilize girls and women to see their value as leaders, and to support them in these efforts. To have leaders such as President Kagame of Rwanda continue to be a role model of a country which has a parliamentary system comprised of 64 per cent female leaders.

11 superb speeches to inspire us to keep fighting for gender equality, even when we’re exhausted

It’s been a particularly distressing year full of chaos, heartbreak, and loss. And though circumstances are tough and constantly striving for a better world can be exhausting, it’s crucial that women (and men, too) continue in the fight for gender equality.

Gender discrimination and the gender pay gap are still realities that women face on a daily basis. And in 2020, women’s rights to abortion and more may be at risk if a conservative winds up filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat.

Thankfully, a whole lot of strong women role models are out there to help lift us up and lead the way. Here are 11 speeches to inspire you to keep fighting for equality, no matter how challenging or hopeless things may feel.

1. Hillary Clinton’s “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” speech

You may recall Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential concession speech as one of her most memorable, but another truly remarkable address took place in September 1995.

During an impassioned speech at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, Clinton memorably declared, “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.”

The then first lady of the United States went on to passionately argue for the rights and freedom of women around the world. She highlighted the need for women to be protected and respected. She called for an end to violence against women and demanded that women be treated equally. She asked that women be given the same access to education, the same freedom of speech, and the same societal and political rights as men. And she lifted women up, as she’s done so many times during her career.

2. Leymah Gbowee’s 2012 Ted Talk

Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist, was awarded a

Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for the role she played in ending the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Gbowee’s nonviolent organizing efforts were historic, and the social worker and women’s rights advocate went on to deliver a powerful TED Talk in March 2012 called, “Unlock the intelligence, passion, greatness of girls.”

Gbowee shared several formative personal experiences she’s had while traveling around the world to speak. She talked about girls she’s met and shared bits of their stories. She spoke about her work and the issues she fights for. And she spoke about hope.

“I don’t have much to ask of you. I’ve also been to places in this U.S. and I know that girls in this country also have wishes — wishes for a better life,” Gbowee said. “Somewhere in the Bronx… wish for a better life. Somewhere in downtown LA… wish for a better life. Somewhere in Texas… wish for a better life… Somewhere in New Jersey… wish for a better life. Will you journey with me to help that girl?… All they are asking us to do is create that space to unlock the intelligence, unlock the passion, unlock all of the great things that they hold within themselves. Let’s journey together.”

3. Julia Gillard’s famous misogyny speech

In October 2012, Julia Gillard, a former Australian politician who served as Australia’s 27th prime minister from 2010 to 2013, delivered a powerful parliamentary speech on misogyny.

In response to opposition leader Tony Abbott’s request to have Peter Slipper removed as Speaker over texts sent to an aide, Gillard took the mic and called Abbott out for his own sexist, misogynistic behavior.

“The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well, I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation. Because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn’t need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror. That’s what he needs,” Gillard began.

Over the course of the nearly 15-minute address, she proceeded to call out Abbott’s “repulsive double standards” on misogyny and sexism.

In a September 2013 appearance on Australian’s Kitchen Cabinet interview show, Abbott spoke about Gillard’s speech. “Look, politics is about theater and at the time I didn’t think it was very effective theater at all,” he said. “But plainly it did strike a chord in a lot of people who had not followed the immediate problem that had brought on that particular parliamentary debate.”

Strike a chord it did. Though Gillard’s speech was seen as controversial by some, it resonated with so many women who had experienced similar behavior, and her words remain unforgettable.

4. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “We should all be feminists” TEDx talk

Some of you may be familiar with We Should All Be Feminists, the personal essay by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that was published as a book in 2014. But did you know the New York Times bestseller is an adapted version of a TEDx talk that the writer delivered in December 2012?

“We teach girls that they can have ambition, but not too much… to be successful, but not too successful, or they’ll threaten men,” the writer says to the audience. You may recognize bits of audio from the song “Flawless” off of Beyoncé’s 2016 album,

Lemonade, but Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s full 30-minute discussion of feminism, the role gender plays in today’s society, the double standards among men and women, and her own personal experiences is required listening of its own.

5. Malala Yousafzai’s 16th birthday address to the United Nations

When Nobel Prize-winning activist Malala Yousafzai turned 16 years old in July 2013, she delivered a profoundly inspiring address at the United Nations. Yousafzai spoke about how she had been shot by the Taliban in 2012, talked of her recovery and how grateful she was to be alive, and laid out an impassioned plea for equality.

“We call upon all communities to be tolerant — to reject prejudice based on cast, creed, sect, religion, or gender. To ensure freedom and equality for women so that they can flourish. We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back,” Yousafzai said.

“Dear brothers and sisters, we want schools and education for every child’s bright future. We will continue our journey to our destination of peace and education for everyone,” she continued. “No one can stop us. We will speak for our rights and we will bring change through our voice. We must believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the world.”

6. Emma Watson’s gender equality speech at the United Nations

In September 2014, Emma Watson — British actor, activist, and United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador — delivered a powerful address on gender equality at a UN Women’s HeForShe campaign event.

“Why has the word [feminism] become such an uncomfortable one? I am from Britain, and I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men,” Watson said. “But sadly, I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to see these rights. No country in the world can yet say that they achieved gender equality.”

Watson went on to explain how she came to understand the word “feminism.” She shared personal experiences, discussed how harmful gender stereotypes are, and directly addressed men to remind them, “Gender equality is your issue, too.”

7. Lupita Nyong’o speaking at a Black Women in Hollywood event

At Essence‘s 2014 Black Women in Hollywood event, actor Lupita Nyong’o was honored for her role in

12 Years a Slave. Nyong’o received the award for “Best Breakthrough Performance” and proceeded to give a truly moving speech about what it means to be a Black woman in Hollywood.

Nyong’o began by sharing a passage from a fan letter she received. A young girl wrote to the actor to say, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

“My heart bled a little when I read those words,” Nyong’o said. “I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned.”

Nyong’o shared her own struggles with self-image and self-acceptance growing up, expressing why diversity and on-screen representations are so important in the world.

8. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s comments about women on the Supreme Court

The world continues to mourn the loss of the great Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Sept.

18, 2020. But her legacy as a Supreme Court justice and fierce advocate for women’s rights and equality will never be forgotten.

Justice Ginsburg gave her fair share of powerful speeches on gender equality over the course of her remarkable career, but several beloved RBG quotes were made when she visited Georgetown University in February 2015 and spoke about the many challenges women in her profession face.

“People ask me sometimes when do you think it will be enough? When will there be enough women on the court? And my answer is, ‘When there are nine,'” Justice Ginsburg said. You can watch the full conversation here.

9. Michelle Obama’s International Women’s Day remarks

Like Justice Ginsburg, Michelle Obama has given a number of touching speeches over the course of her career. But on International Women’s Day in 2016, the first lady gave an especially moving one at a Washington, D.C., event for Let Girls Learn, the White House initiative she launched to help fight for girls’ education around the world.

“The more I traveled and met with girls and learned from experts about this issue, the more I realized that the barriers to girls’ education isn’t just resources. It’s not just about access to scholarships or transportation or school bathrooms. It’s also about attitudes and beliefs — the belief that girls simply aren’t worthy of an education; that women should have no role outside the home; that their bodies aren’t their own, their minds don’t really matter, and their voices simply shouldn’t be heard,” she said.

After touching on additional issues of inequality, such as discrimination and violence against women, Obama went on to remind people there are still so many rights and freedoms to fight for.

“These issues aren’t settled. These freedoms that we take for granted aren’t guaranteed in stone. And they certainly didn’t just come down to us as a gift from the heavens. No, these rights were secured through long, hard battles waged by women and men who marched, and protested, and made their voices heard in courtrooms and boardrooms and voting booths and the halls of Congress.

10. Raquel Willis calling to protect Black trans lives

Raquel Willis, writer and Black transgender activist, gave an extremely empowering speech to a crowd of 15,000 people at a Brooklyn rally for Black trans lives in June 2020.

“I am gonna talk to my Black trans folks first and model what it looks like to put us first,” Willis said into the mic. “We have been told to be silent for too long. We have been told that we are not enough to parents, to family, to lovers, to Johns, to organizations, to schools, to our government, to the world. And the truth is that we’re more than enough.” 

Willis went on to remind Black trans folk to never doubt their power, to never fall silent, and to keep fighting for equality in workplaces, organizations, and every aspect of life. And she called on others to be active allies to the Black trans community.

“Don’t ever doubt the faith that you should have for yourself and your people, cause we are the ones changing shit, and we are the lifeblood of everything they’ve built and tried to lock us out of,” Willis said.

“I want you to all also remember, whether you are Black or trans or not, you have a duty and responsibility to elevate Black trans power,” she added.

11. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s response to Congressman Ted Yoho

In the two years since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary election for New York’s 14th congressional district, she’s made her fair share of striking, inspirational speeches. After Justice Ginsburg died, the Congresswoman delivered raw, deeply emotional comments on Instagram Live that inspired many continue to fight for issues, like gender equality, that were so close to Ginsburg’s heart.

One of AOC’s most memorable speeches of 2020 took place in July when she spoke on the House floor to address the hateful comments that Republican Rep. Ted Yoho made toward her. After Yoho reportedly confronted AOC on the steps of Capitol Hill and called her “disgusting” and a “fucking bitch,” the Congresswoman spoke out on behalf of herself and all women.

“When you do that to any woman, what Mr. Yoho did was give permission to other men to do that to his daughters,” she said. “In using that language in front of the press he gave permission to use that language against his wife, his daughters, women in his community. And I am here to stand up to say that is not acceptable.”

“I do not care what your views are. It does not matter how much I disagree, or how much it incenses me, or how much I feel that people are dehumanizing others. I will not do that myself,” Ocasio-Cortez continued, noting that she would never use such disrespectful language toward Yoho or anyone else. “I will not allow people to change and create hatred in our hearts.”

“Treating someone with dignity and respect makes a decent man, and when a decent man messes up, as we all are bound to do, he tries his best and does apologize,” the Congresswoman said. “Not to save face. Not to win a vote. He apologizes genuinely to repair and acknowledge the harm he has done so that we can all move on.

10 Famous Speeches You Need To Hear From Women On Feminism

It takes a lot to bring the world to a halt these days. We’re all so ‘busy’; life easily becomes a blur. But, every so often, someone comes along and interrupts that hectic cycle. Sometimes, it takes just one person to stand up and speak out against injustice. Sometimes, it takes just one person to make us listen.

Throughout history, so many of the people to make us stop and take note with their famous speeches have been women. From the women’s suffrage movement in the 1800s and feminism’s second wave in the 1970s to the global Women’s March in 2017, the words and actions of famous figures such as Emmeline Pankhurst, Virginia Woolf, Maya Angelou and Gloria Steinhem (to name just a few) have transformed society.

It might explain then why the theme of International Women’s Day 2021 was #ChooseToChallenge. We can learn so much from the powerful actions and inspiring words of the women who came before us – but, also, there’s still so much work we have to do. It’s our duty to carry on their work, challenging and changing and speaking up for equality.

And so here, we’ve rounded up the most famous speeches from a new era of women, who are continuing the task of transforming opinions, breaking boundaries and inspiring us all to keep choosing to challenge. Listen, learn and take note.

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1 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Will Not Accept Your Apology

After Florida Representative Ted Yoho reportedly called Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‘a f*cking b*tch’ on the steps of the Capitol in July 2020, he tried to excuse his behaviour by saying he has a wife and daughters. In response, AOC (as she’s commonly referred to) took to the House floor with what has since been hailed ‘the most important feminist speech of a generation’ – fluently and passionately detailing why his ‘apology’ was, simply, not good enough.

Quotes of note:

‘I am someone’s daughter too. My father, thankfully, is not alive to see how Mr Yoho treated his daughter. My mother got to see Mr. Yoho’s disrespect on the floor of this House towards me on television, and I am here because I have to show my parents that I am their daughter and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men.

‘What I believe is that having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man, and when a decent man messes up, as we all are bound to do, he tries his best and does apologise.’

2 Natalie Portman On Dismantling The Patriarchy

From her smart quip of ‘here are all the male nominees’ at the 2018 Golden Globes, calling out the women directors snubbed for the category, to her rousing ‘f*ck up and thrive, sisters’ speech at the ELLE Women In Hollywood event in 2019, Portman consistently calls out inequality in the film industry. And the actor’s address at Variety’s Women of Power event in 2019 was no different. In what is now referred to as ‘Natalie Portman’s Step-by-Step Guide to Toppling the Patriarchy’, she made a strong case for all the ways in which we, as individuals, can make a difference.

Quotes of note:

‘Be embarrassed if everyone in your workplace looks like you. Pay attention to physical ability, age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and make sure you’ve got all kinds of experiences represented.

‘Stop the rhetoric that a woman is crazy or difficult. If a man says a woman is crazy or difficult, ask him: What bad thing did you do to her? It’s code that he is trying to discredit her reputation. Make efforts to hire people who’ve had their reputations smeared in retaliation.’

3 Michelle Obama On The Inequality Of Failure

Let’s be honest: there are so many Michelle Obama speeches to choose from – the former FLOTUS is renowned for her passion for equality and her ability to uplift others with her words. But in a poignant keynote conversation with Tracee Ellis Ross at the United State of Women Summit in 2018, Obama spoke openly about the often-overlooked inequality of failure, and the disparities in repercussions for men and women.

Quote of note:

‘I wish that girls could fail as bad as men do and be OK. Because let me tell you, watching men fail up, it is frustrating. It’s frustrating to see a lot of men blow it and win. And we hold ourselves to these crazy, crazy standards.

‘Start with what you can control. You start there. Because thinking about changing your workplace and changing the way the world thinks – that’s big; that’s daunting. And then you shrink from that. So start with what you can control. And that’s you, first. And those questions start within. First, we must ask ourselves, “Are we using our voices? And when are we not? When are we playing it safe?” And at least be cognisant of that and understand, “These are the times that I shrunk away from doing more than I could, and let me think about why that was. “‘

4 Gina Martin On Misogyny, The Power Of Anger And How She Changed The Law

As she tells us in this refreshing TEDx talk from 2020, Gina Martin is not the kind of woman you’d expect to change the law. And yet, she did. The activist discusses the moment in 2017 when a stranger took a picture of her crotch at a festival without her consent – and how, after years of relentless campaigning, she succeeded in making upskirting a criminal offence. Martin makes it clear that anyone can make a change, no matter who they are or where they’re from. And that’s a lesson we all need to hear.

Quotes of note:

‘Anger is a very normal response to having your human rights compromised. That’s important to say. We have to stop using it to delegitimise people, with “angry feminist” or “angry Black woman” – all of these stereotypes. People are allowed to be angry about this stuff. And we have to hold space for them there. We have to realise it’s not about us.

‘Think about where you hold privilege – it might be in your job, as a parent, as a teacher, or just in the colour of your skin – and start this work now. Stop laughing at the jokes, buy the book, go to the event, diversify your social feeds, ask the questions. Sympathy is soothing, but it doesn’t go far enough. Action does. And listen, you’ll get things wrong. We all do, I’ve had some clangers. But it’s not about perfection, it’s about progress, it’s about doing it because it’s the right thing to do. We are so done with waiting for society to “change things” for us. We literally are society.’

5 Lady Gaga On Reclaiming Your Power

When Lady Gaga accepted her ELLE Women In Hollywood award in 2018, her career appeared to be at an all-time high, with Oscar buzz for her role in A Star Is Born, and her song ‘Shallow’ at number one in the US. But, as she explained, what people perceive a woman, especially in Hollywood, isn’t always the reality.

Gaga may have made this moving speech several years ago, but it feels particularly poignant to revisit it during a period in which violence towards women is a more devastating and pressing topic than ever. In it, Gaga recounts how being sexually assaulted caused her to ‘shut down’ and ‘hide’. She explores the debilitating effect of shame on her mental health and also the power of kindness and support in overcoming it.

Importantly, Gaga explains that she eventually found her power within herself – and how, once she took it back, she was able to use it to move beyond the prescribed expectations society puts upon women.

Quotes of note:

‘What does it really mean to be a woman in Hollywood? We are not just objects to entertain the world. We are not simply images to bring smiles or grimaces to people’s faces. We are not members of a giant beauty pageant meant to be pit against one another for the pleasure of the public. We women in Hollywood, we are voices. We have deep thoughts and ideas and beliefs and values about the world and we have the power to speak and be heard and fight back when we are silenced.’

‘I decided today I wanted to take the power back. Today I wear the pants… I had a revelation that I had to be empowered to be myself today more than ever. To resist the standards of Hollywood, whatever that means. To resist the standards of dressing to impress. To use what really matters: my voice.’

6 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie On Redefining Feminism

You may not have knowingly heard to author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech before, but there’s a good chance you will have listened to her words without realising – Beyoncé actually weaved a key part of Adichie’s feminist manifesto into her track ‘***Flawless’. In her speech, Adichie reflects on the gender disparities still evident our society, with a focus on those in her native Africa, and dissects the meaning of ‘feminist’ – both the connotations and myths it carries – and how she came to define the term for herself.

Quotes of note:

‘We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller, we say to girls, “You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you would threaten the man.” …But what if we question the premise itself? Why should a woman’s success be a threat to a man?

‘I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be. Gender is not an easy conversation to have. For both men and women, to bring up gender is sometimes to encounter almost immediate resistance… Some of the men here might be thinking, “OK, all of this is interesting, but I don’t think like that.” And that is part of the problem – that many men do not actively think about gender or notice gender is part of the problem.’

7 Kamala Harris On Setting A New Standard For The Next Generation

On November 7 2020, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris delivered her first national address after Joe Biden’s position as President was secured. As the first woman to hold the position and the first person of colour to do so, Harris’ presence alone was enough to break boundaries. But then came her words. In the speech, she reflected on triumph of democracy and credited the work of the women who came before us, plus that of ‘a new generation of women in… who cast their ballots and continued the fight for their fundamental right to vote and be heard’.

Quote of note:

‘While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities. And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not, simply because they’ve never seen it before, but know that we will applaud you every step of the way.’

8 Amanda Gorman On Finding Your Voice

If you didn’t know Amanda Gorman before this year, you’ll definitely know her now, thanks to her reading at US President Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony. The United States’ first-ever youth poet laureate’s powerful, rhythmic poem ‘The Hill We Climb’ made the world stop and listen, highlighting the many inequalities in our society and reminding us that we need to work together to overcome them.

While 2021 was the year that catapulted Gorman into the spotlight, it wasn’t the first time she’d spoken out about the world around her. In her 2018 TED Talk, she discusses the power of speech, learning to find her voice and how ‘poetry is actually at the centre of our most political questions about what it means to be a democracy’.

Quotes of note:

‘I had a moment of realisation, where I thought, “If I choose not to speak out of fear, then there’s no one that my silence is standing for.”‘

‘When someone asks me to write a poem that’s not political, what they’re really asking me is to not ask charged and challenging questions in my poetic work. And that does not work, because poetry is always at the pulse of the most dangerous and most daring questions that a nation or a world might face.

‘If I choose, not out of fear, but out of courage, to speak, then there’s something unique that my words can become… It might feel like every story has been told before, but the truth is, no one’s ever told my story in the way I would tell it.’

9 Frances McDormand Demands Inclusion In Hollywood

It’s one thing to make a great acceptance speech at the Oscars. But to share that honour with your fellow nominees and use it as a platform to highlight where your industry needs to do better? That’s a whole other story, and one told by McDormand in a speech that got everybody on their feet as she accepted the Oscar for Best Actress at the 2018 Academy Awards.

Quote of note:

‘I want to get some perspective. If I may be so honoured to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight, the actors… the filmmakers, the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographers, the composers, the songwriters, the designers. .. We all have stories to tell and projects we need financed. Don’t talk to us about it at the parties tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple days, or you can come to ours, whatever suits you best, and we’ll tell you all about them. I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: “inclusion rider”.’

10 Meghan Markle On Realising The Magnitude Of Individual Action

Long before she made headlines as the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle had already made the world take notice. At the UN Women Conference back in 2015, she spoke about ‘accidentally’ becoming a female advocate when at just 11 years old, when she convinced a dish soap company to change their sexist tagline from ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’ to ‘People all over America…’ instead. Here, she discusses the power of individual action, and why we need to remind women that ‘their involvement matters’.

Quotes of note:

‘It is just imperative: women need a seat at the table, they need an invitation to be seated there, and in some cases, where this is not available, well then, you know what, they need to create their own table. We need a global understanding that we cannot implement change effectively without women’s political participation.

‘It is said that girls with dreams become women with vision. May we empower each other to carry out such vision – because it isn’t enough to simply talk about equality. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to simply believe in it. One must work at it. Let us work at it. Together. Starting now.

Olivia McCrea-Hedley Deputy Chief Sub-Editor Olivia is ELLE’s Deputy Chief Sub Editor – in other words, she gets paid to read ELLE for a living, overseeing the production of our monthly print issues.

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UN Secretary-General gives a powerful speech on “Women and Power” at the New School

On 27 February 2020, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres gave a powerful speech on “Women and Power at the New School”. The full remarks are included below. The speech can be watched here.

Dear students, dear friends,

It is a great pleasure to be here today. Thank you for honouring me with this degree and through me, the United Nations and our staff around the world.

The New School is a special place.

I am an engineer by training and physics has been the biggest intellectual passion of my life. But I reserve my greatest admiration for artists, philosophers, social scientists and those who explain the world and make it more beautiful.

I thank the New School for helping to uplift us and give meaning to our lives.

No place is better than the New School for me to explain our view on women and power, and our very strong commitment to gender equality in everything we do.

As a man born in western Europe, I have enjoyed many privileges.

But my childhood under a military dictatorship in Portugal opened my eyes to injustice and oppression.

As a student doing volunteer work in the slums of Lisbon, throughout my political career, and as the leader of the United Nations refugee agency,

I have always felt compelled to fight against injustice, inequality and the denial of human rights.

Today, as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I see one overwhelming injustice across the globe; an abuse that is crying out for attention.

That is gender inequality and discrimination against women and girls.

Everywhere, women are worse off than men, simply because they are women.

Migrant and refugee women, those with disabilities, and women members of minorities of all kinds face even greater barriers.

This discrimination harms us all.

Just as slavery and colonialism were a stain on previous centuries, women’s inequality should shame us all in the 21st.

Because it is not only unacceptable; it is stupid.

Only through the equal participation of women can we benefit from the intelligence, experience and insights of all of humanity.

Women’s equal participation is vital to stability, helps prevent conflict, and promotes sustainable, inclusive development.

Gender equality is the prerequisite for a better world.

Dear friends, dear students,

This is not a new issue. Women have been fighting for their rights for centuries.

Five hundred years ago, Queen Nzinga Mbandi of the Mbundu waged war against Portuguese colonial rule in present-day Angola.

Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women in 1792, is often seen as the mother of western feminism.

Sixty years later, Sojourner Truth delivered an impassioned plea for women’s rights while she worked to abolish slavery.

The women’s rights movement came of age in the twentieth century. Women heads of state dispelled any doubts about women’s ability to lead. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserted the equal rights of men and women; and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women outlined a vision of gender equality.

Today, young women like Malala Yousafzai and Nadia Murad are breaking barriers and creating new models of leadership.

But despite these advances, the state of women’s rights remains dire.

Inequality and discrimination are the norm, everywhere.

Progress has slowed to a standstill – and in some cases, been reversed.

There is a strong and relentless pushback against women’s rights.

Violence against women, including femicide, is at epidemic levels. More than one in three women will experience violence in some form during her lifetime.

Legal protections against rape and domestic violence are being diluted or rolled back in some places. Rape within marriage continues to be legal in 34 countries. Women’s sexual and reproductive rights are under threat from different sides.

Women leaders and public figures face harassment, threats and abuse, online and off.

The policing of personal freedom and dress are a daily reality for millions of women and girls.

From governments to corporate boards to awards ceremonies, women are still excluded from the top table.

Policies that penalize women, like austerity and coercive reproduction, are back in fashion.

Peace negotiations still exclude women, twenty years after all countries pledged to include them.

And the digital age could make these inequalities even more entrenched.

Dear friends and dear students,

Gender equality is fundamentally a question of power.

We live in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture. We have done so for millennia.

The historian Mary Beard has identified the deep historical roots of patriarchy in western culture.

In the Odyssey, written three thousand years ago, Homer describes Telemachus telling his mother, Penelope, to be quiet and to leave the talking to men.

Unfortunately, Telemachus would not be out of place in some of my meetings today.

Patriarchy – a social system founded on inheritance through the male line – continues to affect every area of our lives. We are all – men and women, girls and boys – suffering the consequences.

Male-dominated power structures underpin our economies, our political systems and our corporations.  

Even Hollywood fame does not protect women from men who wield physical, emotional and professional power over them. I salute those who have courageously spoken up and fought back.

A hidden layer of inequality is built into the institutions and structures that govern all our lives – but are based on the needs of just half the population.

The writer Caroline Criado Perez calls this “default man” thinking: the unquestioned assumption that men are standard, and women the exception.

This has led to the biggest data gap in the world. Very often, women are not counted, and their experiences don’t count.

The consequences are everywhere, from toilet facilities to bus routes. Women are at higher risk of being injured in a car accident, because seats and safety belts fit default man. Women have a higher fatality rate from heart attacks because diagnostic tools are designed around default man.

Default man thinking even extends into space, which is indeed the final frontier – for women. More than 150 men have walked in space, but just a handful of women, particularly because spacesuits are designed for default man. No woman has walked on the moon – although women mathematicians played an essential part in putting men there.

At last, we are finally celebrating the achievements of these women, including Katherine Johnson who passed away this week.

All too often, alongside violence, control, male-dominated power structures and hidden discrimination, women and girls contend with centuries of misogyny and the erasure of their achievements.

From the ridiculing of women as hysterical or hormonal, to the routine judgement of women based on their looks; from the myths and taboos that surround women’s natural body functions, to mansplaining and victim-blaming – misogyny has been everywhere.

Conversely, across centuries and cultures, words like “genius” and “brilliant” are used far more often to describe men than women.

Which is less surprising when men have made the rules and banned women from participating in it.

The damage done by patriarchy and inequality goes far beyond women and girls.

Men have a gender too. It is defined so rigidly that it can trap men and boys into stereotypes that involve risky behaviour, physical aggression and an unwillingness to seek advice or support.

As the writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie puts it: “Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage.”

Around the world, men have shorter life spans than women; they are more likely to be in prison and to use and experience violence; and they are less likely to seek help.

We have defined men’s power in ways that come at great cost – to men themselves.

Gender equality has enormous benefits for men’s personal relationships. Men who share caregiving and spend more time with their families are happier, and have happier children.

On a larger scale, transforming the balance of power is essential, not only as a question of human rights, personal development, health and wellbeing.

It is critical to solving some of the most damaging and intractable problems of our age, from deepening inequality and polarization to the climate crisis.

Friends, dear students,

I see five areas in which achieving gender equality can transform our world.

First, conflict and violence.

There is a straight line between violence against women, civil oppression and conflict.

Trillions of dollars are spent every year on peace and security. But we should be asking: whose peace? Whose security?

Inter-state conflict makes headlines, but in some of the most violent parts of the world, levels of femicide – the killing of women – are comparable to a war zone. 137 women around the world are killed by a member of their own family every day. Impunity rates are above 95 percent in some countries.

In other words, we have men waging war on women – but no one is calling for a ceasefire or imposing sanctions.

And how a society treats the female half of its population is a significant indicator of how it will treat others.

Rape and sexual slavery are routinely used as a tactic of war, and misogyny is part of the ideology of almost all violent extremist groups

Conversely, involving women leaders and decision-makers in mediation and peace processes leads to more lasting and sustainable peace.

The United Nations is committed to putting women at the centre of our conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacebuilding and mediation efforts – and to increasing the numbers of our women peacekeepers.

Second, the climate crisis.

The existential emergency we are facing is the result of decisions that were taken mainly by men, but have a disproportionate impact on women and girls.

Drought and famine mean women work harder to find food and water, while heatwaves, storms and floods kill more women and girls than men and boys.

Women and girls have long been leaders and activists on the environment, from Wangari Maathai and Jane Goodall to the Fridays for Future movement.

But the impact of gender inequality on climate action goes deeper.

Initiatives to reduce and recycle are overwhelmingly marketed at women, while men are more likely to put their faith in untested technological fixes.

There is plenty of evidence that women are more open than men to reducing their personal environmental impact.

And recent studies show that women economists and parliamentarians are more likely to support sustainable, inclusive policies.

There is a risk that safeguarding our planet is seen as “women’s work” – just another domestic chore.

I am grateful to young people, Generation Z, including many of you here in this room, who are working for climate action and gender equality, while recognizing the reality of non-binary identities and solutions.

Macho posturing will not save our planet.

Gender equality, including men stepping up and taking responsibility, is essential if we are to beat the climate emergency.

Dear students, dear friends,

The third area in which women’s rights and equal opportunities can create a breakthrough is in building inclusive economies.

Worldwide, women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. The latest research by the World Economic Forum says it will take until 2255 to close the gender pay gap.

How can I tell my granddaughters that their granddaughters’ granddaughters will still be paid less than a man for the same work?

The gender pay gap is one reason why 70 percent of the world’s poor are women and girls.

Another is that women and girls do some 12 billion hours of unpaid care work around the world every day – three times more than men.

In some communities, women can spend 14 hours a day cooking, cleaning, fetching wood and water and caring for children and the elderly.

Economic models classify these hours as “leisure time”.

Gross Domestic Product puts zero value on anything that happens in the home. But this flawed metric is the baseline for economic decision-making, distorting policies and denying women opportunities.

Women who do have an income are more likely than men to invest in their families and communities, strengthening economies and making them more resilient.

Women also tend to take a longer view. Corporate boards that include them are more stable and profitable.

The recent decision by one of the world’s biggest investment banks not to take a company public unless it has a woman board member was not made on moral grounds. It was financial good sense.

Women’s equal economic rights and opportunities are a global imperative if we are to build a fair globalization that works for all.

Fourth, the digital divide.

When a couple complained last year that the man’s credit limit was 20 times higher than his wife’s, despite her higher credit score, the discrepancy was blamed on an algorithm.

But with women occupying just 26 per cent of jobs in Artificial Intelligence, it is no surprise that many algorithms are biased towards men.

Digital technology can be an enormous force for good. But I am deeply concerned by the male domination of technological professions in the universities, start-ups and Silicon Valleys of this world.

These tech hubs are already shaping the economies and societies of the future, with a huge impact on the evolution of power relations.

Unless women play an equal role in designing digital technologies, progress on women’s rights could be reversed.

Lack of diversity will not only expand gender inequality. It will limit the innovation and scope of new technologies, making them less useful for everyone.

Fifth and finally, political representation.

Women’s participation in parliaments around the world has doubled in the last 25 years – to one quarter. Fewer than one-tenth of states are led by a woman.

But women’s representation in government is not about stereotypical “women’s issues” like opposing sexual harassment or promoting childcare. Women in government drive social progress and meaningful changes to people’s lives.

Women are more likely to advocate for investment in education and health; and to seek cross-party consensus and common ground.

When the numbers of women reach a critical mass, governments are more likely to innovate, and to challenge established orthodoxies.

In other words, women in politics are redefining and redistributing power.

It is no coincidence that the governments that are redefining GDP to include wellbeing and sustainability are led by women.

It is simple math. Women’s participation improves institutions.

Doubling the resources, capacity and expertise we put into decision-making benefits everyone.

One of my first priorities as Secretary-General of the United Nations was to bring more women into leadership positions. On 1st January this year, we achieved gender parity – 90 women and 90 men – in the ranks of full-time senior leadership, two years ahead of the target date I set at the start of my tenure. We have a roadmap in place to achieve parity at all levels in the years ahead.

This long-overdue change is an essential recognition of the equal rights and abilities of women staff. It is also about improving our efficiency and effectiveness for the people we serve.

Dear students, dear friends,

The opportunity of man-made problems – and I choose these words deliberately – is that they have human-led solutions.

Thriving matriarchal societies throughout history and around the world show that patriarchy is not inevitable.

We have recently seen women, many of them young, demanding transformational change.

From Sudan to Chile to Lebanon, they are calling for freedom from violence, greater representation and urgent climate action, and questioning economic systems that fail to deliver opportunities and fulfilment for many.

We owe these young leaders our voices and our support.

Gender equality is part of the DNA of the United Nations. The equal rights of women and men are included in the Charter – our founding document. As we mark our 75th anniversary this year, along with the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Conference on Women, we are redoubling our efforts to support women’s rights across the board.

Last month, the United Nations launched a Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – the blueprint for our partnership with governments to build peaceful, prosperous and inclusive societies on a healthy planet.

Gender equality is a goal in itself, and key to achieving the other 16 goals.

The Decade of Action is aimed at transforming institutions and structures, broadening inclusion and driving sustainability.

Repealing laws that discriminate against women and girls; increasing protection against violence; closing the gap in girls’ education and digital technology; guaranteeing full access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights; and ending the gender pay gap are just some of the areas we are targeting.

Women’s equal leadership and participation are fundamental.

That is why in the past, I always supported quotas – the most effective way to achieve a radical shift in the balance of power. Now is the time for gender parity in governments, parliaments, corporate boards and institutions everywhere.

Over the next two years, I intend to deepen my personal commitment to highlighting and supporting gender equality in all areas of our work.

I will contact governments that have discriminatory laws on their books to advocate for change and offer our support; and urge each new government to achieve gender parity in senior leadership.

I will explore ways to maximize the influence of the United Nations to make sure women have equal representation in peace processes; and strengthen our work on the links between violence against women and international peace and security.

I will continue to meet women whose lives have been affected by violence.

I will also advocate for GDP to include measures of well-being and sustainability and for unpaid domestic work to be given its true value.

I am committed to ending “default male” thinking across the United Nations. We are a data-driven organization; it is essential that our data does not make the ridiculous assumption that men are the norm and women are the exception.

We need women’s voices and contributions at the forefront in peace negotiations and trade talks; at the Oscars and the G20; in board rooms and classrooms; and at the United Nations General Assembly.

Dear students, dear friends,

Gender equality is a question of power; power that has been jealously guarded by men for millennia.

It is about an abuse of power that is damaging our communities, our economies, our environment, our relationships and our health.

We must urgently transform and redistribute power, if we are to safeguard our future and our planet.

That is why all men should support women’s rights and gender equality.

And why I am a proud feminist.

Women have equaled and outperformed men in almost every sphere.

It is time to stop trying to change women, and start changing the systems that prevent them from achieving their potential.

Our power structures have evolved gradually over thousands of years. One further evolution is long overdue.

The 21st century must be the century of women’s equality.

Let us all play our part in making it so.

Thank you.

Topic:- “Full Power of Women” by Priyanka Chopra – Pair with Emma Watson’s speech on the Power of Women – ENGL 110: Freshman Composition


Priyanka Chopra is a woman who works for Unicef to establish women’s rights. She had a great experience of how women treated in India and other developed countries. In this video, she provided global statistics that show us that 15 million women never learn how to read and write.  

Rhetorical Situation/ Exigence:-

The video was based on recent events in developed countries that are unable to provide equality between men and women. Numerous countries give more priority to men than women. Eventually, women are deprived of their basic right to education. So many social workers were worried about child marriage, displacement, sexual violence.  If it continues, women will be deprived of their basic rights.  


The video attracts an audience of the public who are interested in revolutionary change, reproductive rights, and women’s rights. Prianka states that she was born in a family that believes equality, and she gets equal opportunities like her brother. Therefore, she gave her speech specifically for those people who are interested in making changes in women’s life. Also, the title of the video introduces us to the power of women who are just treated as a burden of their parents.


The purpose of this video is to influence the UNICEF workers who are helping to work for women’s rights so that women can equally get the same opportunity as men. She mentions that ” Education is a basic right of women and the reason why parents don’t send their girls to school is that eventually she will get married and it’s full of waste of money.” It is significant because parents thought it’s a waste of money to spend money on women’s education. By this speech, she wants to influence Unicef to be a voice for the voiceless.


This video is a speech since Prianka shares her idea with the audience. She shares her own point of view and her experience as she uses pronounces such as “I”, “Our”. “I [emphasis added] feel that this is our [emphases added] responsibility to be a voice for the voiceless”. 


Prianka is a social worker who is working with Unicef for children around the world especially victims and survivors of child marriage, displacement war, sexual violence. At the end of the video, she mentioned that ” I am so committed to this cause, and that is where my passion stems from because I know that the girls’ education empowers community and economies.” By saying this, she wants women to get their education so that girls can achieve their rights in society. Women have to fight for their rights, gain their education, and empower our community.

Hillary Clinton: How Far Have Women Come?

Arsh Raziuddin

Giving speeches was not usually a problem for me, but a lot was riding on this one, and I had a genuine case of nerves as I took the stage. Before me were 1,500 delegates, mainly women, of every race and ethnicity, who had traveled to Beijing for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women. What they all had in common in that moment was a daunting impassivity.

It was September 5, 1995. I had spent weeks writing and rewriting my speech. I wanted it to be bold, accessible, and unambiguous. I also thought hard about getting the delivery right. Women are often criticized if we show too much emotion in public, and I wanted to make sure my tone didn’t obscure the message. Hence, the nerves.

I started talking. As I spoke, each line was translated in real time into dozens of languages, creating a gap between me and the audience. Hundreds of delegates stared back blankly. This was my chance to change the way the world thought about women. And it didn’t seem to be going well.

On the flight to Beijing, I had pored over drafts with my speechwriter Lissa Muscatine and the foreign-policy experts crammed into my cabin. Madeleine Albright, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, had asked me a simple question: “What do you want to accomplish with this speech?” My answer had been equally simple: “I want to push the envelope as far as I can on behalf of women and girls.”

Staring out at the delegates in front of me, I had a fleeting thought: What if this was a mistake?

I have long believed—supported by Everests of evidence—that relegating women’s health, education, and economic participation to the margins of foreign and domestic policy is ruinous not just for women, but for entire nations. The Beijing conference represented a rare opportunity to focus the world’s attention on the status of women and girls. I wanted to break the silence about atrocities being committed in specific regions of the world, as well as injustices and abuses that are universal, including in developed democracies such as my own. Most of all, I wanted to argue that it was no longer acceptable to talk about human rights and women’s rights as separate topics. They were one and the same, and I was determined to make people hear this.

Read: Hillary Rodham Clinton’s ‘Women’s Rights’ speech from 1995

Back in the U.S., the idea of my attendance in Beijing had been controversial. I was fresh off a bruising fight for health-care reform, a topic some considered far beyond the job description of a first lady. A year earlier, I had been burned in effigy at a protest against the health-care plan. (Today I take this as a compliment; back then it stung a little. ) Members of Congress had scoffed at the idea of an international gathering focused on women’s issues. Republican Senator Phil Gramm declared that the conference was “shaping up as an unsanctioned festival of anti-family, anti-American sentiment.”

Officials at the State Department were nervous: A first lady talking about foreign policy on the world stage? What if I created some kind of international incident? They were also concerned that going to Beijing would implicitly condone China’s dismal human-rights record. I shared those concerns (and later, when I led the State Department, I made sure that China’s human-rights record was a focus of investigation and criticism). But in the end, I made my position clear: I was either going to travel to the conference as the leader of an official American delegation, or I was going to buy a seat on a commercial airline and attend as a private citizen. The opposition melted away.

Now, staring out at the delegates in front of me, I had a fleeting thought: What if this was a mistake? But if there’s anything I’ve learned in life, it is to keep going. I spoke about women and girls who were working to advance education, health care, economic independence, legal rights, and political participation. With barely concealed rage, I talked about the use of rape as a tactic of war, and the violence women are subjected to in their own homes.

I criticized China for its policy of coercive family planning. I didn’t know it at the time, but the Chinese government cut off the television feed of my speech to the rest of the convention center, where thousands of people who couldn’t fit into the hall were watching. (A few years ago, however, I got an email from a friend who had been walking around a department store in Beijing when the music faded and my speech started playing over the loudspeakers. I’ve always wondered what subversive person managed that.)

As I went on, I could feel a change in the atmosphere. Delegates, even (or especially) from countries I was criticizing, were leaning forward. And then I said this: “If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.

When I finished, the room erupted into cheers. The delegates rose, giving me a standing ovation, a rarity at buttoned-up UN gatherings. As I left the hall, women hung over banisters to grab my hand. Some had tears in their eyes. The declaration of a simple, obvious message should perhaps not have had such a galvanizing effect. But 25 years ago, it caused shock waves.

Since 1995, the phrase Women’s rights are human rights has appeared on tote bags, cellphone cases, needlepoint pillows, and T-shirts. I’m happy about this. But the most transformative moment of the conference wasn’t my speech. It was the adoption of the Platform for Action, whereby representatives from all 189 nations committed to “the full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social, and cultural life.” A 270-page document might not lend itself to bumper stickers or coffee mugs, but it laid the groundwork for sweeping, necessary changes.

In many ways, women are better off than they were 25 years ago. A girl born 25 years ago in Lesotho could not own property or sign a contract; today, she can. In East Africa, a girl born 25 years ago grew up in a region where female genital cutting was widespread; since then, the practice has declined significantly. In 1995, domestic violence was a crime in just 13 countries; today, it is illegal in more than 100. We’ve nearly closed the global gender gap in primary-school enrollment, and maternal mortality has dropped by more than half.

Rita Colwell: Women scientists have the evidence about sexism

But the work is nowhere near done. As the changes laid out in the Platform for Action have been implemented, what’s become clear is that simply embracing the concept of women’s rights, let alone enshrining those rights in laws and constitutions, is not the same as achieving full equality. Rights are important, but they are nothing without the power to claim them.

In 2017, the Women’s March brought millions to the streets to protest sexism and misogyny. More than a decade after the activist Tarana Burke coined the phrase Me too, the movement has reached every corner of the world. The coronavirus pandemic, the loss of millions of jobs, and the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, among too many others, have prompted activists to shine a light on the injustice and inequality facing communities of color, especially Black women. All of this has a lot to do with rights, but it’s also about something more. It’s about power: who has it, who doesn’t, and how we confront that imbalance.

Mary Beard dedicated an entire book to this subject. In Women & Power: A Manifesto, she explores the misogyny that has shaped our world for centuries, and urges readers to reject the notion of power as a zero-sum game. If power is seen as a tool only a few people can wield at a time, within systems designed by and for men, an entire gender will forever be excluded from it. Instead, she suggests, why not look at power more comprehensively? We should think of it as “the ability to be effective, to make a difference in the world, and the right to be taken seriously, together as much as individually.

I was clear-eyed about the difficulty of making progress 25 years ago, and I remain so today. But I am still surprised by the backlashes provoked by women’s advancement. Again and again, we’ve seen anger, hostility, and sexism directed at women who have the audacity to seek power. (I have some firsthand experience with this.) Deep-seated biases are even harder to change than discriminatory laws. It’s no coincidence that while we’ve made progress in areas traditionally associated with women, like health care and education, we’ve struggled to match that progress in the economy, politics, and national security. And as useful as the internet has been to feminist organizing, it has also created a platform for misogynists to spread sexist vitriol and disinformation.

Today, the pandemic is exacerbating some of the most insidious and pervasive inequities women face. In the U.S., women—who are already more likely than men to do low-wage work, raise a child on their own, and do unpaid work as caregivers—have lost their jobs at a higher rate than men since the onset of the virus. And we know that women will be less likely to return to paid employment than men, threatening what progress has been made toward equality in the workforce. On top of everything, several states have attempted to weaponize the crisis in order to eliminate access to safe and legal abortion, and the Trump administration’s rule permitting employers to deny insurance coverage for birth control on the basis of “moral” objections was upheld by the Supreme Court. (One can’t help asking, what about coverage for Viagra?)

We see similar trends around the globe. A United Nations Population Fund report predicted that the pandemic could well have a “catastrophic impact” on women, with millions assuming disproportionate responsibility for caregiving, unable to access contraception, or at risk of being married off or subjected to genital cutting. Experts have reported a dramatic spike in intimate-partner violence. History warns us that a global health and economic crisis can create pressure to push women’s concerns to the back burner.

Yet, even in the midst of all this turmoil, I still believe that advancing the rights, opportunities, and full participation of women and girls is the great unfinished business of the 21st century. Finishing this work is the right and moral thing to do—and it is also an urgent strategic imperative. We need a global commitment to changing laws and policies, and to transforming centuries-old cultural norms around women’s roles and value.

Not long after the 1995 conference, I was on a Voice of America radio program when a man called in to ask what I meant by my speech. I asked him to close his eyes and picture all the rights men have: the right to earn an income, the right to a job and an education, the right to vote and hold elective office, the right to be heard and valued in their families and communities. “We want the same rights,” I explained. He burst out: “That’s impossible!”

Nearly two decades later, as secretary of state, I sat across the table from presidents and prime ministers and watched their eyes glaze over when I raised the issue of women’s rights and opportunities in their countries. It was only when I showed them hard data and pointed out what nations were losing economically by excluding half their population from full participation that some of them started to listen.

When women are healthier and more economically secure, families, communities, and entire nations are better off. Gender parity in education is associated with longer life expectancies for women and men. According to one estimate, the global economic benefit to closing the gender gap in workforce participation by 2025 could be $28 trillion. And we’ve known for a long time that when women are included at the peace table, agreements are more likely to be reached, and to be longer lasting.

Conversely, a study by Valerie Hudson, Donna Lee Bowen, and Perpetua Lynne Nielsen found that subordination of women at the household level corresponds with instability at the national level. Populism and authoritarianism are on the rise, and for leaders like Vladimir Putin, Jair Bolsonaro, Rodrigo Duterte, Viktor Orbán, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and—yes—Donald Trump, the drive to diminish women’s rights is inextricably linked to their quest for political power.

We all have images in our head of what a leader looks and sounds like. That image has been white and male for centuries.

Over the past 25 years, we have seen that when women and girls participate in democracy, the benefits ripple out across society. Women leaders are more likely to increase budgets for health care and education, and women’s leadership contributes to greater cooperation, equality, and stability. Many of the countries with the most effective responses to the pandemic are led by women: Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand, Angela Merkel in Germany, Sanna Marin in Finland, and Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan.

Read: New Zealand’s prime minister may be the most effective leader on the planet

Yet, even though women are now running for office—and winning—in unprecedented numbers, progress has been slow. We’ve risen from 12 female heads of state in 1995 to just 22 today. Only 14 countries out of 193 have parity in the national cabinet. The share of women in parliaments remains less than 25 percent on average; only four countries in the world have achieved parity this year.

So what’s holding us back? Although sexism and structural barriers are in many places no longer legal, they’re still very much with us. Today, instead, they’re cultural.

Running for president, I felt the full force of misogyny—from the blunt, even ostentatious sexism of Donald Trump, who called me a “nasty woman” (a slur I and many others have decided to wear as a badge of honor), to the trap of “likability,” which seems to snare only women.

Watching the diverse slate of 2020 candidates was inspiring, but it was also discouraging to hear familiar tropes about women candidates’ speaking styles, voices, and authenticity. (I don’t hate women candidates, I just hate Hillary Clinton. And now I’m starting to hate Elizabeth Warren. And come to think of it, I’m not wild about Kamala Harris or Amy Klobuchar either…)

We all have images in our head of what a leader looks and sounds like. That image has been white and male for centuries, and changing it will take deliberate effort. On that front, it’s impossible to overstate the significance of having Kamala Harris—a woman of color, and the child of immigrants—on the presidential ticket.

Biases and cultural norms that subordinate women are everywhere. The social psychologist Madeline Heilman found that, after looking at two personnel files for potential job candidates, identical except for the names, 86 percent of people surveyed determined that the male candidate was more competent than the female candidate. When they were told that the candidates were equally competent, 83 percent said the man was more likable. And it’s not only men who perpetuate these attitudes. The UN Development Program’s “2020 Human Development Perspectives” report found that in developing and developed countries alike, both men and women show clear bias against gender equality. This finding suggests that we have reached an “inequality plateau,” at great cost to health, education, autonomy, representation, and more. We need a new approach.

Twenty-five years after Beijing, it’s no longer enough to talk about women’s rights. We must augment women’s power in every sphere, including government, the economy, and national security. We can start by taking steps to increase women’s representation in the public and private sectors, whether by exploring quotas for gender parity in public office, broadening the success of gender-blind orchestra auditions to other employers, removing names from résumés, or following the lead of states where asking about salary history is now illegal.

We can demand that elected officials and employers alike recognize paid leave, affordable child care, and closing the gender pay gap as the urgent imperatives they are. We can build women’s economic power, including by investing in women-led businesses. And as we recover and rebuild after the pandemic, we can seize the opportunity to transform economic systems that discriminate against women and devalue essential caregiving work.

Consider Sweden, which in 2014 became the first country in the world to explicitly adopt a “feminist foreign policy.” As then–Foreign Minister Margot Wallström described it, the policy recognizes that “striving toward gender equality is not only a goal in itself but also a precondition for achieving our wider foreign, development, and security-policy objectives.” France, Canada, and Mexico have since taken steps to follow suit.

In addition to voting for women seeking positions of power, each of us can speak out, support organizations promoting women’s rights and power, and engage in peaceful protest movements. We can support mentoring and role modeling, and work to change messages in media. We can call out sexism and racism, and challenge insidious norms in our culture, workplaces, and households. This year is the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, a milestone we had hoped could be celebrated with events across America. Though the pandemic has rendered that nearly impossible, an equally fitting tribute is to commit ourselves to new platforms for action, in our own country and on the world stage. And someday soon, I hope we will elect a woman president of the United States.

That’s a sentence that’s painful to write. But here’s something that gives me hope: 25 years ago, speaking in Beijing as first lady, I thought I had reached the peak of power and influence that would ever be available to me. I was determined to use it to lift up the concerns and rights of women. Yet it turned out my journey was far from over, and I would get the chance to carry those concerns into the highest levels of government and politics. What we think are peaks can turn out to be frustrating plateaus. But they also can be way stations on a higher climb. That’s what I think about when I see young women around the world who have no patience for gradual change and no intention of slowing down. They believe a new world order is not only possible, but necessary and urgent, and they’re absolutely right.

Related Video

Our Dream | Empowering Women & Girls

In every country in the world, women and girls face obstacles and discrimination solely because of their gender.

No country in the world can say they have achieved gender equality.

“Empowerment” is a word we hear often, but what exactly does it mean for women and girls? Simply put, women and girls are empowered when they are free to act in their own best interest.

We dream of a world where women and girls have the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full potential, live free from violence, and of course, live their dreams.

Our mission is to provide women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.

Women are economically empowered when they have control over their own finances and wellbeing, and when they have a voice in the financial decisions to shape their lives and the lives of their families. Women are socially empowered when they have a personal sense of autonomy, self-confidence, and the power to control their private and public lives.

Empowerment Through Education & Training

By empowering women and girls through access to education and training, the lives of individuals, families, and whole communities can be improved.

Our two core programs are dedicated to helping women and girls achieve economic empowerment:

Live Your Dream: Education & Training Awards for Women
Through this program, we invest more than $2.6 million in education grants to over 1,600 women every year.

Learn More

Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls
Through this program we provide girls with guidance, training and resources that will prepare them for career success.

Learn More

Many of the women who apply for our Live Your Dream Awards have overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, domestic and sexual violence, and substance abuse. This unique education grants program enables recipients to use the cash awards to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or skills training—such as tuition, books, childcare and transportation.

Most importantly, I can be independent, never again putting myself in a position to feel ‘stuck’ in an unhealthy, abusive situation. I now have a means to support myself and my family and hope that my children will see that education is the key that unlocks many doors to freedom, to opportunity, to happiness.

Live Your Dream Awards Recipient

Dream It, Be It helps girls in secondary school who face obstacles to their future success. It provides girls with access to professional role models, career education and resources to live their dreams. The topics covered in the curriculum include identifying career opportunities, setting and achieving goals, and knowing how to move forward after setbacks or failures.



(lane by L. M. Navtanovich)

Zerubbabel went out of Jerusalem for the remnant of the captives to King Darius and asked him, in order to release the rest of the captive people, in order to fulfill the promises of Cyrus, Persian king, and he commanded that the captives be given to him.

And Zerubbabel was a warrior with King Darius and guarded the king with two other servants.AND once they started a dispute and said to each other: Let’s ask riddles, each according to his wisdom; having written our riddles in letters, we put the tsar in headboard, so that, when he wakes up, he sees the riddles on the letter and appreciates them. And the one who will write better than the other two, will be the second after the king; the vessels of his table will be gold and silver, and the harness for his horses will be given to him, the second part He will have after the king, and any request of him will be fulfilled, and a friend to the king will be called. AND they all said: Let it be so.

And they agreed on this in accordance with the Medes and Persian rules, which immutable. And they cast lots among themselves; and the lot fell to the first, and it was it is written to him: Nothing is so strong on earth as a king. Another wrote: Wine strongest on earth. The third, Zerubbabel, wrote: Nothing is stronger women on earth.

They wrote their riddles and put them at the king’s head. But the king, waking up, I heard the whispers of these servants, reached out and took the letter, and, having read it, put it aside.When his nobles were assembled, the king summoned his servants and said to them: Explain my riddles, and whose will be the wisest, for that I will fulfill what is written in this literacy.

And the first said: Hear, king and nobles, and I will tell you! Know the king’s men brave, the strength of the king and the fortress, and his dominion over all the earth, and over the sea, and over countries, and over all peoples. And he will kill and revive; if he tells you to go to war will go; if the king orders to destroy the city, they will destroy it. And everything that the king orders they do: they mine gold and silver, and prepare military equipment, plow and sow, cultivate the land, and plant gardens, and pay tribute to the king before they have tasted your harvest.They are afraid of his anger, for the king is braver than all. And do not break his words not with anything. Therefore, believe me that there is nothing equal to a king on earth. AND were surprised at his speeches standing here.

And another answered, saying: Listen, the king and men are truly wise, you know the power of the king, because he owns everything on earth, as you have heard. Wine is stronger king: his courage is undeniable, but when he becomes drunk, then his heart will change, and his speech. Some will sing, some will jump, some will dance, and some fight.A drunken man will destroy those who are worthy of pity, but he will honor the wicked, and will not have shame before his father and mother. Know all that wine is stronger. Who is it gets drunk, he will forget the letter, but he will remember the songs, and the person whispering evil, approx. Bad speeches will begin, and the angry wine will arouse, others and on a friend their sword will be drawn. The wine will betray the shameful person to the shame, and the feet of the people he will make him crooked, and his eyes will be muddied, and his lips will speak without shame. Sober people do not remember all this and deny it.Know that wine is stronger Total. If the saints drank, then the wine would also make them a mess. And praised all his speech.

And the king called Zerubbabel, the third, and said: Tell your riddle, as well as your friends said. Zerubbabel answered: Hear, king, and find out, all nobles! Hardest of all, the king, that he wants, crushes, what were the speeches said about the power of a king and the power of wine. A woman is stronger than a king and wine and everything. Because the woman stronger than the king, that she gave birth to a king, nurtured him, raised him, clothed him and filth she washed him, instructed him and possessed him, and kept him in strictness.He is afraid her voice, and far from her, can crush him with her word. Sometimes take flight from fear of her. And when he becomes a youth, and then he will not forget her fear of punishment and will not break her words. And then, seeing a beautiful a woman, will love her beauty, and will not change love for her for any wealth. Even his father and mother will leave for the love of a woman. Many have made mistakes because of her, many were deceived because of their love for a woman. Many have become murderers because of her, many went to hell because of her.Many wise ones have fallen into her snares. And feud happens between family and friends because of her. Don’t you understand or don’t you know what if a beautiful woman becomes on the way, then if a man was carrying something in hands, but his eyes look at her, and his whole thought is about her, and not about what is in carries. And if she answered anything to him, then she would have dropped everything and talked to by her.

If you don’t believe my words, then tell me who you work for, not for women is it? After all, you buy them all sorts of things, and items of gold and silver, and incense.Whom do you buy wine and oil for, do you not for women? Some rob, others they steal and kill, do they not bring them to women?

So I saw you, king, sitting on his throne, and the crown was on his head. yours. And remember how the daughter of Aviosha the Macedonian, your concubine, who sat about you, reached out with her hand and took off the crown from your head, and laid it on the head yours, and you, tsar, laugh at her, otherwise the tsar ought not to be looking. BUT when she was angry with you, the king, you hugged and kissed her, so as not angry.Hear all that the woman is strongest. She and the strength of Samsonov she overcame, and deceived David, and deceived Solomon. So did Adam: he was a god was created by a father to the whole world, and was it not a woman from Paradise who drove him out and put him to death, and deceived the righteous? Hear, then, that the woman is the strongest.

But know, king and your nobles, that vanity is a king who owns lands, futility is wine and woman, for falsehood has dominion over all three on earth and sea, and among the people. But where there is faith, there will not be untruth.For the Lord said: If you have the right faith, you will be able to move mountains. “Then all the nobles marveled at his understanding and said: Truly, young man, truly is your word, and all you said the truth.

Then the king said to Zerubbabel: Come to me. And he came up. The king hugged him and kissed before all the people, and said: Blessed be the God of Zerubbabel, for gave him a faithful spirit to glorify the faith before the king and people. And the king commanded to do for Zerubbabel everything is as it was written in their letter, for he found in his eyes a king has a greater mercy before all than both his friends.And the king said: Ask, Zerubbabel, what else does your soul want, besides what is written in the letter, and up to half of my kingdom will be given to you from me. And Zerubbabel said to the king: Remember, lord, a promise, for you and Cyrus promised the king of the heavenly Lord God of hosts create the house of God and return its holy vessels to the holy place, and release captives to the place where the name of God is called. And for that they will pray to the great to God for the king and for his kingdom, for fulfilling the promise you made to God heavenly.

And the king ordered to bring his scribes and wrote down the request of Zerubbabel, who asked create Jerusalem. And king Darius sent to king Cyrus, so that with him he would fulfill the promise to build a house of God in Jerusalem. And then the king Cyrus ordered everything his kingdom, saying: Who among you fears the god of heaven, let him go to build house of god. And I will give from my treasury gold and silver, and everything that is needed. AND the scribes wrote according to the word of Darius, king of the Medes, and Cyrus, king of Persia, who to all the nobles and rulers of the cities, and in all the cities of Aramea, Tire and Sidon, and Samaria, and Asaph, the captive elder: Know that God, the king of heaven, has awakened, your hearts to release the captives of his people, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king took captive Babylonian.The son destroyed his father’s creation, and then Jerusalem stood empty ninety three years old. Now he has returned the vessels to the house of the great god and arranged altar, and built the wall of Jerusalem. Be prepared to give whatever you need silver, gold, copper, stone, wood to the builders, as Zerubbabel asked and Jesus Iosedekovich. And send Zerubbabel and Jesus Yosedekovich with all the rest alive as captives to Jerusalem, and began to build the city of Jerusalem and the temple, according to the word Daria and Cyrus.

And when Titus, king of the Chaldees, besieged Jerusalem, he besieged it for two years.And on the second year in the reign of Vespasian captured the city. Titus distributed many captives to gift, and they perished in theaters from beasts of prey and from the sword. Those who were not seventeen years old, sold them all with women and children, and at a small price for ten goldsmiths, since the number of those selling has increased, and the number of buyers has decreased. BUT those over seventeen years old were chained and sent to Egypt to work. There were nine hundred and seven thousand prisoners, a million one hundred thousand killed, and lakes flowed blood, nowhere was there free space to put a needle because of the corpses.From eleven thousand died of hunger. They didn’t want to touch Roman food, because they abhorred her. Four thousand died in the caves. Then Jerusalem stood empty for sixty years.

And if someone says that it was impossible to fit so many people in the city, then learn from the census of Cestius. Since Nero considered the Jewish people insignificant and did not expect any resistance from him, then Cestius asked the priests, so that, as far as they can, they would count the people. When Easter came, in which they have the custom of making sacrifices, and at the same time they unite more than ten a person for one sacrifice, since it is not proper for one to eat this sacrifice, but some and twenty people gather for one victim, then they counted priests two hundred fifty thousand six hundred victims.If we count ten person per sacrifice, no more, then you get two million nine hundred thousand, only clean and undefiled. And those who are sick or unworthy of something, or foreigners, or unclean women, all of them should not touch the victims.

From the very first creation of the temple that Solomon built to the present ruin From Jerusalem, Titus passed eight hundred and eighty years and seven months and five days. BUT from the last creation, when they built Haggai and Zerubbabel in the reign of Cyrus, to this captivity is six hundred and thirty years and nine months and fifteen days.

The city was conquered six times: by Susakim, the Egyptian king, after him by Antiochus, then Pompey, then Sossius. But all of them, having taken Jerusalem, left it without capturing residents. And with the devastation so the first time Nebuchadnezzar, and the second time Titus devastated him for sixty years.

The first inhabitant of this city was a Canaanite king, in the local language called The king of righteousness, the city was sanctified from him. He was the first to create a city and name it Jerusalem the Jewish king David, who expelled the remaining Canaanites from that land and who set up his city of David.And four hundred and seventy-seven years later the Babylonians it was ruined. From David to this ruin by Titus, one thousand one hundred and seventy-nine years old. And from the first creation to the last captivity two thousand nine hundred and seven years old.

Know, brothers, the power of God and the wrath of God on this city. And what city was so strong, or did he have so many people and so brave? Not in the world stronger and stronger than the city than Jerusalem. There were twelve walls around the city, and such brave men were in it one in a hundred people went out, and without a fight entered into city.Once, when Titus besieged the city, the seven brave went out and seven rows cut through the army to Titus, and almost captured him, and returned unharmed.

Know the power, but if the mountains were rearranged, nothing without God’s help impossible for people, and nothing will be done without God’s help. See that nothing people cannot, but where is there a faithful king who teaches people the law of God, then no one can conquer that city, if there are few people in it, but by faith is strong.

And that was the end of the captivity of Jerusalem.

Strong female character, or “Trinity Syndrome” – Articles on KinoPoisk

In honor of International Women’s Day, we have already made selections with the strongest female characters and told you about women in director’s chairs. Today let’s talk about what the concept of “strong female character” has become.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we have already made selections with the strongest female characters and told you about women in director’s chairs.Today let’s talk about what the concept of “strong female character” has become.

The phrase “strong female character” ( strong female character ) evokes from the depths of subconsciousness Ripley, shooting at the Alien queen with the words “ Get away from her, bitch “.

It would seem, give a gun into the hands of a woman, and she will instantly become strong. Well, at least that’s what a lot of Hollywood writers thought when trying to respond to criticism. Women from the fatal noir beauties of the 1940-1950s turned into the Stepford wives of the 1960s, were controversial personalities in the 1970s, but with the advent of the blockbuster era in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they turned into a script prop called “the protagonist’s girlfriend “.

If you think about it, the very term “strong female character” is kind of strange. After all, screenwriters don’t prescribe strong male characters. They simply write out characters that can be completely different – unique, geniuses, manipulators, clever people, weaklings, neurotics. They can have oddities and quirks. But as soon as it comes to a woman in the lead role, she must certainly be strong. Here it is also important to understand that the word “strong” does not hide the Dusya-aggregate, capable of squeezing out a hundred kilograms lying down.It’s about how well the heroine is spelled out in the script, how important she is in the film. A good strong female character is not a nonstick skillet. This is a character worthy of being the hero of a separate film.

Relatively recently, Valka, Hiccup’s mother (voiced by Cate Blanchett), a mysterious, intelligent, difficult, vulnerable, principled woman, appeared in the cartoon “How to Train Your Dragon 2”. We rarely see such heroines in blockbusters. She is, which is characteristic, interesting.But, unfortunately, the plot is built in such a way that she has absolutely nothing to do.

Over the past years, women in the cinema have been trying to somehow change, to give them more scope for action than the framework of the hero’s girlfriends or the stereotype a la cool Vasquez in Aliens. The idea of ​​a strong female character – a woman with her own identity, principles and significance for the plot – is in many discussions about the role of women in movies, comics and games. However, this phrase is often used ironically, since it is more a marketing term than a serious task for the screenwriter.It would seem that it could be simpler than the Bechdel test, but the Hollywood mainstream manages to forget about it, writing out stereotypical heroines. Sometimes a character like Hiccup’s mother appears on purpose in films, and behind the scenes a chorus of marketers is heard: “Look, we have fulfilled the quota for strong female characters!” And the fact that the heroine, in fact, is not allowed to turn around, is already the second question.

Hiccup’s mother is one example of an unnecessary superficial character hiding under the guise of a strong female character.The film takes a lot of time to effectively present her to the viewer, to evoke sympathy, to show how heartbreakingly alone she is. As soon as the performance is over and the battle begins, the heroine immediately becomes useless both for the rest of the heroes and for the narrative. She encounters a villain (whom she has successfully fought alone for several years!) And instantly loses. Husband and son completely overshadow Valka, saving her twice within five minutes of screen time. Her only contribution to the narrative is a short “you are the chosen one” conversation with Hiccup.After which Valka disappears from the picture, and the viewer wonders why so much time was spent on it at all. According to some reports, the director initially planned to make her the main villain, but the idea died out at the stage of the first versions of the scripts.

Valka’s type – a strong female character who has nothing to do – is gaining popularity in the cinema. This is a kind of “Trinity syndrome”, the heroine of “The Matrix”. The writers introduce a highly gifted heroine into the film who never becomes independent, important, or as delightful as the scene that represents her.

Even when a strong and confident heroine manages to make her contribution to the story with male characters at the head, her achievements are relatively minor and can be reduced to the role of nanny, victim or lover. For example, Tauriel from The Hobbit trilogy appears in The Desolation of Smaug, but at the same time is a completely fictional character, she is not in the book. She was clearly created for some kind of balance in this all-masculine adventure. Tauriel is capable of destroying a billion spiders and orcs with her elven kung fu with bow and arrow, but her personality only manifests itself in her fascination with the dwarf Keely.At the same time, Legolas dries on it itself, which at some point turns the “Hobbit” into a reflection of the “Twilight”.

Or Dahl, Katie Sackhoff’s character in Riddick. She is cool, brutal and, as she herself claims, is not a sex toy for men. Despite the fact that she speaks from the screen, Dahl undresses, fights off an attempted rape, and in the end decides that she would like to be the hero’s sexual object.

Think of Carol Marcus from Star Trek: Retribution, played by Alice Eve.She seems to be the same rebel as Captain Kirk, but in the end she undresses on the screen and becomes an ordinary stilted character. We are constantly reminded that she is very smart, that she is an excellent weapons expert, but we cannot see her intelligence in action (unlike the well-researched press). She saves McCoy from the bomb, but purely through luck, not knowledge. Carol’s other attempt to rescue the Enterprise’s crew by revealing her presence to her father, the evil Admiral Marcus, fails.As soon as she appears to him, she is immediately taken to another ship. Why was there such a sacrifice? And again, what about intelligence?

Here is a short list of questions for writers, producers, and directors who have created a heroine who is not a rogue, bitch, McGuffin, or sex toy.

  1. You have introduced a strong female character into the film. Is this role vital to the story?
  2. If she does something important to the story, what is her role? Is the heroine raped, beaten or killed to motivate the hero? She decides to have sex / not to have sex / agrees on a date / decides to break up with the hero? Does she whine for a man to grow up or stop being overly heroic? That is, its existence is determined solely by the needs to satisfy needs, to motivate or develop the hero?
  3. Is it possible to replace your strong female character with a floor lamp on which important information for the protagonist will be written?
  4. Is your strong female character the coolest, smartest and most experienced heroine, but only until the protagonist shows up?
  5. Or does he appear in the plot in the image of “I’m all awkward and angular”, but gradually, spending time with a strong female character, changes, while she remains unchanged? Is there a strong female character in the frame just for the protagonist to be able to impress her?
  6. It’s great, of course, that you made your woman very cool, but did she become so only so that the protagonist looked even cooler against her background, when he saves or surpasses her?
  7. Since she is all so strong and capable that before she appeared in the frame, she did not need to be saved, so why do you surrender her or make her a victim of a villain, which requires the intervention of the protagonist? Is the need to deprive her of her sense of self-esteem an essential part of your story?
  8. Does she disappear without a trace during the second or third act (except when it is due to a plot like being taken hostage or death)?

If you answered “no” to all the questions, then congratulations: you have a strong female character worthy of her name.

Of course, there are exceptions to any rule. Edge of Tomorrow introduced us to Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a brutal lady who dies repeatedly to motivate protagonist William Cage (Tom Cruise). She is presented as the coolest heroine in her world, but in the end, Cruise’s character surpasses her, despite starting the film as awkward and angular. Rita exists in the plot, mostly to convey information to William and eventually even shares a romantic moment with him.However, the plot does not devalue, weaken, or write it off. In the finale, the hero goes on a mission without her, but only in the very finale, when she has fully proved her worth. She is persistent, confident, funny, desperate. She inspires the hero and by the end of the film is as interesting as at the very beginning.

You can remember Furiosa (Charlize Theron) in “Mad Max”, where she is not only a cool outwardly heroine, but also the catalyst for the plot (kidnaps the immortal Joe’s brides to take them to safety).Max Rokotanski becomes her unwitting assistant, and in the finale also a savior. But who of the critics will turn their tongues to call Furiosa a stilted heroine? She brilliantly fulfills her task. She is a tough but sensitive woman in a cruel and oppressive male society.

Perhaps, for filmmakers, the result of this material is as follows: here you, screenwriter, director and producer, do you personally want to be in the place of a strong female character? If yes, then feel free to launch the project into development. Women will willingly go to the cinema and their girlfriends will be called.And if they like it, they will go for the second time, already with men.

How women became the driving force behind the Belarusian revolution | Hromadske TV

While most of the civilized world, including the countries of the former Soviet Union, moved forward, Belarus froze for almost three decades with one leader, without significant positive changes.

This leader is Alexander Lukashenko, who won the presidential elections six times since 1994, the last time on August 9, 2020.But many people believe that Lukashenko won a real victory, without falsification, only once – in 1994.


President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko addresses his supporters during a rally in Minsk, Belarus, August 16, 2020



In addition to the political stagnation, gender stagnation continued in Belarus. Although gender discrimination is prohibited by law in the country, the World Bank says that Belarusian women are appointed to leadership positions two and a half times less often than men.And for doing the same work, they are paid significantly less.

Women from time to time occupy leadership positions in the presidential administration, but often, according to human rights activists, this is done to create the facade of a real situation, which is much sadder.

But, despite this, it was women who became the engine of change during the many thousands of protests in August 2020 after the presidential elections, the official results of which were not recognized by the EU and the UK. We will tell you how and why this happened.


Presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (center), wife and representative of unregistered presidential candidate Valery Tsepkalo Veronika Tsepkalo (left) and representative of unregistered presidential candidate Viktor Babariko Maria Kolesnikova (right) during a press conference in Minsk, Belarus, July 17, 2020



Women’s trio against the dictator

When Lukashenka began his fight against political rivals before the last presidential elections, an unprecedented protest movement led by three women emerged in Belarus.Two of them – Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and Veronika Tsepkalo – began to appear in public space when their husbands were banned from running.

Later, Tikhanovskaya’s husband was arrested along with another candidate, the banker Viktor Babariko. The head of Babariko’s political campaign, Maria Kolesnikova, teamed up with Tikhanovskaya and Tsepkalo to defeat the “last dictator of Europe.”

Together they created a campaign that reached the entire country and instilled hope for democratic change.

Although patriarchal sentiment is deeply rooted in the former Soviet country, Belarus has warmly welcomed this female trio. And Tikhanovskaya, who ran as an opposition candidate, began to be called “Belarusian Joan of Arc”.

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Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya throws in her ballot during the presidential elections in Minsk, Belarus, August 9, 2020



In response to increased opposition from women, Lukashenka’s regime started misogynistic (misogynistic – ed.) a campaign against political activists that included harassment, threats of sexual violence and social services taking their children.

According to Amnesty International, in the south-eastern city of Gomel, one activist was threatened with rape right at the police station. On June 20, Lukashenka said that if a woman is elected president, she “will fall, poor fellow.”

However, all these efforts could not suppress the movement of support for Tikhanovskaya’s candidacy, which was growing throughout the country – even though she said that she had no political ambitions, but went to the polls only for the sake of men who could not take part in the elections.

Tikhanovskaya’s political agenda touched on corruption and Lukashenka’s weak response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But its main goal is to make the elections in Belarus free and fair. This country has not seen for decades.

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Detention, torture and confrontation

Since the beginning of the protests, thousands of people (probably on the orders of the country’s leader) have been detained, beaten and tortured. At least two were killed by the police, hundreds were injured, and dozens were missing.

Since then, Tikhanovskaya and Tsepkalo were forced to leave Belarus. Despite this, their support at the national level continues to grow.

In particular, last week hundreds of women dressed in white formed human chains in Minsk in protest against the violence by riot police at rallies. The

hromadske was nearby as they stood in long, mostly silent columns.

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Women gather near the Komarovsky market in Minsk to protest against violence at rallies, June 12, 2020


Tatiana Bezruk / hromadske

“We believe, we can, we will win!” – protesters chanted.Passers-by raised their hands up and showed the sign “victory”. This gesture – a clenched fist and a heart shape – became the symbol of the opposition campaign.

Police tried to disperse the rally, but their threats drowned out the signals of cars that sounded in support of the protesters. The women tried to give roses to the police, but the officers did not accept the flowers.

Ekaterina was also among the protesters. She said she went outside because it was time for women.

“Many of my acquaintances were taken to the jail, ,” she said.- I don’t know where they are now. Nobody answers, no phones. If the men were taken away, then we will be with the women here. ”

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Belarusian women wear posters with the words “Women did not surrender, did you?” during a rally in support of the Belarusian opposition protesting the presidential election results and police brutality, Minsk, Belarus, August 21, 2020

Ready to rule the nation

Belarusian protests are largely leaderless.Kolesnikova is the only one of the three women who remained in Belarus. Last weekend, she called on police and government officials to join the protests, writes The Guardian.

Pictures of military and police officers throwing their uniforms into the trash can flooded social networks. Tikhanovskaya’s team publicly supported those who leave the service, saying that they will be able to work in a “new, free Belarus”.

From Lithuania, where the opposition candidate left after threats at home, Tikhanovskaya announced that she was ready to lead Belarus.

“You gave me your votes, I really appreciate it. We all want to get out of the endless circle we found ourselves in 26 years ago, ” said the former teacher in a six-minute video posted on August 16.

“I am ready to take responsibility and act as a national leader during this period in order for the country to calm down and restore a normal rhythm. So that we release political prisoners and quickly prepare the legislative framework and the necessary conditions for organizing new presidential elections – real, fair and transparent elections that will be unambiguously accepted by the world community. “

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Authors: Natalie Vikhrov and Maria Romanenko, with the support of the Media Network

Pair dances as a source of strength

Dance growth is one of the indirect, but obligatory and necessary criteria for gaining strength. An increase in the dance level to a certain extent contributes to an increase in the “level of oneself” (for everyone in different ways, this is a subtle moment that requires a separate detailed consideration) and, as a result, increases the amount and strength of the force extracted from the dance.In fact, strength is the growth of oneself / an increase in the level of oneself, the level of oneself as a man / as a woman. Because the strength must be matched, the strength must be pulled, so strength promotes growth, strength contributes to an increase in the level of oneself. And the level of oneself already determines the level of this force – the force of the force extracted from the dance. The level of oneself as a man / as a woman is directly proportional to the level of strength extracted from the dance. It is he who determines the level of strength (it has a gradation, both in level and in strength), the higher the level of yourself, the higher the level of force extracted from the dance, the stronger your strength.And the level of oneself can be raised with various instruments and pair dance is one of them.

But the extraction of strength from the dance does not yet guarantee the growth and increase in the level of oneself, so that there is growth, it is necessary to assimilate the extracted strength, otherwise it can come in and out without much growth. And in order to assimilate it, you need to want it, you need to desire it, you need to strive for it, you need to focus on this, this should be in the first place, then it will be assimilated and give the desired growth. Growth of yourself, growth of yourself as a person, growth of yourself as a man / as a woman.

But the extraction of power from the dance is possible only in one case, when the interaction of the masculine and feminine principles occurs in the dance. This is not always the case (but that’s okay). Sometimes in a pair dance there can be human interaction, when a male person interacts with a female person, i.e. not a man with a woman and not a woman with a man, but a man with a man. And human interaction is not about strength, in the human there is no strength, in general, it simply does not belong there, the human is about something else.Strength contradicts the very nature of the human, the human against the strength, moreover, the human can even take away the strength, the strength of the masculine / feminine principle. But we will talk about the intricacies of this and that interaction with you some other time.

What is the power, sister? Weaknesses and tricks of a woman’s business leader

Every year more and more women in Russia head large companies and are included in the ratings of the country’s brightest managers. And each of them would like to ask “What is the power?” – due to what qualities do they manage to win in the “sandbox”, which is still mostly male territory?

It is not often that research is conducted in Russia on the topic of how actively women are involved in business and become managers of large companies.However, even according to those rare data, it can be concluded that the situation in this matter in the country is no worse than the world average.

Thus, the Women Business Index, with the results of which OPORA RUSSIA, together with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, introduced the audience at the end of 2016, reported that Russian women strive for entrepreneurship (84%) and are even ready to start their own business (fifty%). At the same time, the most popular segments in which women would like to show their entrepreneurial abilities are the service sector (58% of Russian women consider it) and trade, where 28% of women earn.

Considering the fact that in Russia more than half of the working-age population are women, then in this context the portrait of a modern Russian entrepreneur or woman manager becomes especially interesting.

What is business like a woman? What qualities should a woman possess when she decides to “float freely” and be responsible for a whole team of employees? Do you need to try your best to be a “man in a skirt” or is it in women’s weaknesses that the main strength of the “weaker sex” lies?

Two stereotypes have emerged and have become entrenched with regard to the female role in business.The first, drawn largely from films and books, paints in bold strokes a portrait of a tough, cold-blooded, power-hungry and decisive lady, before whom even men give in. Her decisions are categorical and harsh, her speech is quiet and measured, and the achievement of the goal is a matter of time and the number of goals that she will definitely go through. It is because of this common image that some women are afraid to take the path of business, believing that they will definitely have to conform to this pattern of behavior.

Another no less widespread opinion reflects the idea that in business everyone is equal, and there can be no games of boys and girls here. Both sexes act according to general rules and scenarios, formulated, however, by men. This idea also raises some doubts, because a woman will never think and act like a man, and by abandoning her small features, she, oddly enough, loses a lot. After all, it is precisely in her weaknesses and cunning that a special management style is born, which distinguishes all “women’s” businesses.

In search of an answer to the question “What is the strength, sister?” we interviewed active participants in the Russian business field, and realized that the behavioral patterns of women in business have not yet been determined, and each comes up with her own scenarios in which she feels most comfortable.

Daria Pantyukh, Head of Personal Partner Consulting boutique told us her story of how she was looking for the most optimal scenario for managing the company.Moreover, Daria began her career as a top manager not from the sphere that are traditional for the “ladies'” business – fashion, beauty, education – but from the most brutal area – the management of an auto center. You can imagine what difficult situations she had to face. The woman in the auto center! It’s worse than a woman on a ship!

“At first I tried to manage according to the male type: I became tougher and more authoritative, cut my hair and stopped wearing skirts,” recalls Daria. She’s a girl. “I began to work on myself and soon realized that, first of all, I am a woman and I must remain and manage her like a woman. Then I grew my hair again, began to wear skirts, and … did not demand, but asked the team to do this or that work, praised them for doing it. If I didn’t know something, then I spoke about it directly and asked my subordinate men to help and advise the correct solution of this or that problem ”.

This short and rather traditional story alone illustrates the first feature that makes women helmsmen special: a woman easily admits her mistakes and lack of competence and “turns on” the so-called Soft-skills, which consist in creating trusting relationships with colleagues, forming a more emotional dialogue and the desire to find compromises.Sometimes this behavior may even seem like a weakness, but strategically it is this approach that helps the company achieve success. Wherever it is possible to agree and replace the “stick” with a small carrot, she will do it.

How can we not remember Mary Kay Ash – the founder of the Mary Kay cosmetics company? It was she who created the company “which has a heart.” So, a woman leader is able to add warmth to any business. It is not at all easy when completely different people gather under one roof for a limited time.So, what kind of weakness can we talk about?


1. The woman is less hardy and stress-resistant.

Of course, when it comes to moving heavy objects, it is obvious that there is some truth in this bias. However, in relation to communication with the team, such a delusion contradicts the very essence of female nature.

“By nature, a woman is created so that under any circumstances she must bear and give birth to a healthy child,” says Daria Pantyukh, “and then also provide him with comfortable living conditions for many years.This is hard work, therefore, nature has added to the woman an additional reserve of physical, mental and mental strength. ”

2. A woman does not know how to be tough.

Yes, a woman does not like to “cut from the shoulder,” and will use every opportunity to resolve the issue not by harshness, but by means of a compromise – this is a fact. And only after spending all the possibilities, it will launch an uncomfortable scenario. Often it is this approach that saves the company from sudden, thoughtless changes in the course, and the lengthy negotiation process helps to find new non-standard solutions.The approach of “chopping wood – chips flying” is not a priority for a woman-manager, and the innate intuition, which is more developed in women than in men, allows to minimize communication and reputational risks of the company as much as possible.

Moreover, it is precisely because of innate gentleness that a woman is able to insist on her own not from a position of strength, but by convincing opponents that she is right. This is an important point, as it reduces the risk of sabotage from colleagues and partners, which is slowly but surely shaking the business.

In this context, interesting commentary by Marina Klimenko, HILL International , who emphasizes: “It is important to remember that the time has come for the effectiveness of those who know how to achieve results based on the voluntary participation of people in their ideas, give rise to an atmosphere of personal magnetism, sympathy and attractiveness, help others want what you want – these are the tools of so-called “soft power”, as opposed to “hard power” based on coercion. “

Of course, you can bang your fist on the table and fire half of the team, but whether such toughness will be effective is the question. And in the context of modern business, the ability to negotiate and find common denominators, it is women’s softness that is her main secret advantage.

3. Women are too emotional.

Another very “masculine” complaint against women, which may have to do with everyday life, but has nothing to do with running a business.A woman leader is always aware of the interests and lives of how many people are behind her decisions. And it is on this basis that she keeps her emotions under control, not allowing them to dictate options for emotional behavior.

At the same time, a woman’s ability to openly express emotions and express sympathy is extremely useful at that stage of any process or project where employees of the company need sincere praise and appreciation of their work. It is a woman leader who is able to put an end to the project that will energize the team and help move mountains!

4.The woman is too family oriented.

It is also pointless to argue with this fact – if a woman is happy in family life, then her children and her husband occupy a considerable part of her thoughts. But is it really that bad? It is such a manager who knows how to value and respect the family life of his employees, without forcing them to spend the night in the office and engage in endless assault. Even as a big, serious leader, she understands the seriousness of things like a child’s illness or domestic turmoil.And therefore she is much more inclined to show flexibility in relations with subordinates.

Moreover, it is precisely being family-oriented that a woman director often builds warm, almost “family” relationships in the company – based on trust, tolerance, understanding, a desire for compromise and even warmth. Is it bad?

As a striking example, we can cite the head of FiNN FLARE Ksenia Ryasova, who not only runs a company that is one of the largest players in the Russian Fashion retail market, but also brings up four children.Partly due to this, Ksenia Evgenievna not only knows how to competently delegate authority, but also respects the working time of her subordinates.

5. Women are naturally fearful.

In everyday life, of course, there are more women who faint or climb on the table at the sight of a mouse, cockroach and other unpleasant creatures. And one might get the impression that excessive fearfulness is a natural property of the “fairer sex”, which becomes a serious obstacle to managing a company or own business.And, of course, going at the enemy with an open visor is not a woman’s style. But wouldn’t it be more correct to call the insufficient courage of a woman a caution that cannot be overestimated in modern business realities?

Anastasia Borovskaya, director of the Russian School of Management looks at a woman’s “cowardice” from a slightly different angle: “Men are not afraid to go and do, they outline plans with big strokes and take big steps towards them. But building processes is already a woman’s story.Women leaders are great at building a path to their goal step by step. They know how to set up internal communications and intuitively feel their colleagues. Therefore, a woman can quickly level out a problematic situation, while a man still will not notice that everything is not going according to plan. ”

Thus, a more developed intuition and self-preservation instinct allow a woman to more clearly predict possible risks and more gracefully solve problem situations, because yes – she fears unnecessary complications and makes every effort to avoid them.

Marina Klimenko, Managing Partner at HILL International , commenting on the specifics of the female model of management and doing business, answered with the words of an English proverb: “There are no men and women in business – there are business partners”. Marina suggested looking at the problem of leadership efficiency not in terms of sex differences, but through the prism of the interaction of two types of energy – YIN and YANG, which give each specific situation either a male support or a female content.

“It is generally accepted,” comments Marina Klimenko, “that the male type of leadership works for disclosure, and it is characterized by such active actions as interest, intention, purpose, decision, leap, movement and other rather active actions. They are full of speed, realizing potential, adrenaline and change. And the female style is different – it is not actions that are characteristic of it, but states such as inertia, expectation, meditation, support, joining, etc. The dominance of the female or male aspect of leadership is manifested in everything – in the favorite standards of work, flexibility or indisputability of the managerial position, the level of aspirations, behavior in a situation of uncertainty, the characteristics of the “image of victory” or “ideal result”, values ​​and ways of influencing your team ”.

At the same time, according to Marina, female and male types of behavior in no way conflict with each other, but quite the opposite, they organically complement. So, for example, if male leadership ensures the systemic nature of processes, then female leadership creates a comfortable climate for its implementation. If the masculine creates a system and standards, then it is the feminine who examines their weaknesses and finds ways to neutralize them. And if the masculine collects and analyzes information, the feminine reveals new interpretations in them.

“Does the leader strive for change, discovering“ new lands ”? Is a masculine type of leadership. Does the leader master them and make them fit for an effective life? Is a female type of leadership. The style of effective leadership has ceased to be distinguishable in gender coordinates, development is determined by the leader’s ability to skillfully and flexibly combine the tools of effective influence in a specific situation, ”concludes Marina Klimenko.

Influencing others not by force, but by persuasion, gentleness and sympathy – this is what modern business and the most effective management practices are based on.And here a woman is undoubtedly a strong player who can compete with “fisted” men …


As a point, the data of the annual rating of the Association of Russian Managers will come in handy, according to which the share of women among the best Russian managers in 2017 has grown significantly: if in 2016 there were only 28% of the best of the best in the list, then in 2017 female names accounted for 44% of the rating. These data are cited by Tatiana Dolyakova, CEO of the recruiting agency ProPersonnel.

90,000 Inspirational speech by Blake Lively at the 2017 People’s Choice Awards: “No one can limit you. Feminine power!”

At the 2017 People’s Choice Awards last night in Los Angeles, Blake Lively won the Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress award, behind which the celebrity gave perhaps the most powerful and inspiring speech.

From childhood, my mother taught me that you should not allow anyone to limit yourself. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something,

– stated the star and then added:

I’ve always been an ambitious child. I set a goal for myself, and I knew that if I achieved this goal, I would be successful and happy. There was another goal – to meet the Spice Girls, but I haven’t reached it yet. Do you know how they attracted me then? They were all different from each other, they were women who belonged only to themselves.This was my first encounter with female power. Having voted for me, you voted for female power. Thank you for that! People want to hear stories about women, and we want to hear your stories. Now is the time to share them. You must be heard. And no one can keep you silent.

At the end of her speech, Lively once again thanked all those who voted for her:

Thank you guys and thank you to my husband (Ryan Reynolds – approx.ed.), which is everything to me! But you won’t get it, it belongs to me (laughs)!

Blake Lively

Polina Voevodina

Source ETonline

Photo Gettyimages.ru

90,000 Traditions of women and wives of India described in the sacred shastras – Real time

To wish your husband well, serve his relatives and wear beautiful clothes

Photo: Ananta Vrindavan

While living in India, I was fortunate enough to meet the bearers of traditional culture, women who grew up in religious families and have no idea about divorce and working on equal terms with men.On the eve of my own wedding, they told me how a wife should behave in order to keep the family together and live peacefully with her husband. I will share these secrets in a new article for Realnoe Vremya.

Destruction of culture

India is one of the countries in which the patriarchal way of society is difficult to be influenced by Western ideas of gender equality. Having become a British colony, the Indians abandoned many of their traditions rather quickly: while studying in Victorian colleges, they became Christians and atheists, questioned the canons of the scriptures (shastra).But with women, the situation is different. For a long time they remained faithful to traditions, visited temples and believed that their only duty was to serve their husband and family. They were brought up on the examples of women from the shastras and considered it a sin if a woman leaves her husband or associates with strangers at work.

The situation gradually began to change in the middle of the last century, when India freed itself from the colonial oppression of Britain. What the colonialists did not do, the Indians themselves were able to accomplish. Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was educated in England and looked at his native culture as a relic of the past.He affirmed the principles of socialism and universal equality, considered the old ideas about traditional marriages and secondary female roles in society obsolete, and divorces and abortions were the norm. Knowing that women base their faith on stories from the scriptures, he authorized the filming of films based on key plots from the scriptures, where program speeches reflecting the ideas of feminism were embedded in the lips of everyone’s favorite characters.

A clear example of what a modern Indian woman should be like is Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, the first woman politician in the history of India.She practically did not see her husband and two children, accompanying her father everywhere as his personal secretary, and then she herself became the Prime Minister of India. Under her, a forced sterilization program was launched in order to reduce the population of the country and destroy the very basis of traditional marriage – having many children.

Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, is a good example of what a modern Indian woman should be. Photo sputnik-georgia.ru

The consequence of this is such events as the recent rally of feminists in India: women came out with posters “Why India needs feminism.”However, all this is still not on the same scale as in the West. Much of India remains rural (although the villages and villages are made up of tens of thousands of people), where traditions are still very strong. Here you can meet women who pass on from generation to generation the secrets of a happy family life, based on the sastras, and teach this to their daughters and granddaughters.

Behavior of a chaste wife

In the sastras, a woman is glorified for her chastity. According to polls, many modern Russians do not know at all what this word means.Someone thinks that this is the same as virginity or shyness. However, chastity is a complex concept. It includes a whole set of qualities that a woman must have in order to be called chaste.

A description of the behavior of such a woman, for example, is given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: “To serve the husband, always wish him well, be equally benevolent to his relatives and friends, fulfill the same vows as the husband — these are the four rules by which chaste women must follow. “

Another quote from the same: “A chaste woman should dress with taste and wear gold jewelry to please her husband. Always neat and attractive, she must take care of the cleanliness and order in the house: sweep the floors and wash everything with water and other means. She should take care of household items, make sure that there is always the scent of incense and flowers in the house, and willingly fulfill her husband’s wishes. Modest, truthful, in control of her feelings, she should speak to her husband affectionately and serve him with love, taking into account the time and circumstances. “

Chastity is a complex concept. It includes a whole set of qualities that a woman should have

Now I will tell you how Indian women explain each of the aspects listed in these quotes. My heroines are Gita Govinda from Bengal (Mayapur), Vijaya and Nrisimha Rakshita from South India (Salem). Gita Govinda and Vijaya have been married for about 30 years and have children. Nrsimha Rakshita is already a widow.

Must be married

First, it should be noted that in both quotes we are talking about a married woman.The fact is that in tradition a woman cannot have any alternative to marriage, since she must always be protected. Independence is contraindicated for a woman.

Gita Govinda: “The foundation of a family is a husband, what can you do without a husband? In the culture where I grew up, unmarried women were not respected. ”

Vijaya: “I was born in India, and many people here still understand that women should be protected before marriage by their father, then by their husband, then by their son. It’s necessary. Because the woman is, indeed, less intelligent.We imagine a lot about ourselves, we want to be equal to men, but in reality this is impossible. We can assert ourselves as strong and independent, it’s easy, but acting on an equal footing with men is not an easy task for us. We can, of course, graduate from college, become doctors, pilots, but we still need shelter, we want to be protected. ”

In tradition, a woman has no alternative to marriage, since she must always be protected. Independence for a woman is contraindicated

Always wish your husband well

The first instruction that I received from Gita Govinda when we met was: “No matter what happens, never tell anyone bad about your husband.No relatives, no mother, no friends. Feminine strength is such that simply by praying for her husband and thinking well of him, a wife is able to protect her husband from many troubles. ”

“For us, a husband is almost God. Because your life depends entirely on your husband. He gives and gives you everything. Take my position, for example. If my husband kicks me out, then I will have nothing. The husband provides shelter, food, everything, ”says Gita Govinda. In traditional culture, women are discouraged from going to work and associating with men other than their husbands.

Treating my husband’s relatives and friends favorably

My Russian friend married an Indian and has been living in the same house for about ten years with her husband’s parents, brother, brother’s wife and their children. This situation is common in India. When the daughter-in-law comes into the house, she is treated quite strictly. She should be able to run a house well, cook for the whole family and fulfill all the requests of her elders, bring water, serve some kind of thing. The fact is that after getting married, the girl no longer belongs to her parents.Her parents are her husband’s parents. Seeing how his wife serves his relatives, the husband’s heart is filled with gratitude.

Vijaya: “Even within the family, we cannot say a word against the father-in-law. To everything he says, we answer: “Good.” When I got married, my father-in-law told me only two things: “If I say” Vijaya “, you must appear in front of me immediately, do not say” now “,” wait “, no, as soon as I said the word” Vijaya “, come immediately. And second, we have a big family, 15 people.Whether you cook or not, this is not a problem, I will not ask, but you must serve everyone, when they come, you must serve everyone. I won’t ask who prepared the food, but you have to serve. When you serve food, everyone will see you as a mother and feel your love. You must serve. In this way, you have to join the family circle. ” I’ve been doing this for the last 30 years. My husband has three sisters and two brothers, and everyone is satisfied, everyone loves me, everyone respects me, and I also love and respect them. My father-in-law and mother-in-law left the body two years ago, but until the last day I served them, and they were happy. “

When a daughter-in-law comes into the house, they treat her quite severely. She should be good at housekeeping, cook for the whole family and fulfill all the requests of her elders.

Fulfills the same vows as her husband

A wife helps her husband to fulfill his duty. For example, she takes care of the house, about the health of all family members, about delicious food, and then the husband’s mind is calm, and he can calmly go about his work.

In addition, this means that you need to accept the financial situation of the husband, not demand more from him and be happy with what he can give her.In India there is such a tradition: the bride is given a pot of water, and she must wash her feet, hands, face with this water, and also save some water. By the way she coped with this task, one can understand whether she will be a thrifty wife.

I asked Gita Govinda what is the main quality a woman needs to keep her family together? “It’s very simple. Feed your husband and children very well. Manage family income wisely – within the limits of what the husband brings. Undoubtedly, the husband will provide for the family, manage finances, where more can be spent, where less.A woman needs to moderate her desire to have a lot of unnecessary things, otherwise her husband will have to work like a donkey. A woman needs to find a balance. ”

Moreover, according to the shastras (Padma Purana), even if a woman for some reason has to work, everything that she brings into the house belongs to the one under whose protection she is (husband, father, adult son). Already he makes a decision on what funds can be allocated from the general family budget.

Gita Govinda: “I myself have never worked.Although at first I wanted to work. But my husband guided me perfectly, he asked me reasonable questions. “Why do you want to go and work?” “I studied social sciences and psychology. I want to help people. And I want to make money “-” If you want money, I will give it to you. Do you want to help people? You can help our friends and relatives. ” So I gave up the idea of ​​going to work. ”

Even if a woman for some reason has to work, everything that she brings into the house belongs to the one under whose protection she is.

Even if the husband is deprived of the opportunity to earn money, the wife should not think about divorce.And now in India one can see how ordinary workers, who earn at least 50-100 rupees a day, are nevertheless dressed in clean, tidy clothes, and also always have containers with homemade food, which their wife has carefully collected for them.

There are many stories in the shastras that are an example for modern Indian women in following the vows of a husband. Princess Sita of the Ramayana followed her young husband, King Rama, into exile in the forest, although she could have stayed in the palace and continued to live a comfortable life.Queen Gandhari from the Mahabharata, when she married the blind man Dhritarashtra, blindfolded herself so that she would never see white light and follow her husband in everything, even in his blindness (for more details, see the article “The most famous women of India”) …

Dressing tastefully and pleasing your husband

A wife should protect her husband from other women, because cheating is vikarma, a sin. Thus, by dressing nicely and attractively, the wife helps her husband not to commit sin.Another point that is difficult to understand in Western culture is that a woman should dress beautifully only for her husband, that is, she should have the most beautiful clothes at home. While on the street she should look modest and not attract the attention of people around her, all the more there is no question of exposing parts of her body for everyone to see. The sastras say that a woman is meant for the pleasure of only one person, her husband.

If the husband is away, then tradition prescribes a woman to dress simply, not to use makeup, not to wear jewelry.So everyone around can easily understand that the woman’s husband has left. This principle is called asking-bhartrika in Sanskrit. All this allows a woman to be chaste, that is, focused in her thoughts on serving her husband.

A woman should dress beautifully only for her husband, that is, at home she should have the most beautiful clothes. While on the street she should look modest and not attract the attention of people around her

Maintain cleanliness in the house

The house is run by the wife, and her task is to create a favorable atmosphere in it.This includes pleasant smells, cleaning, and keeping kitchen utensils and food clean. From early morning in the villages and towns of India, one can observe how women wash the floors in the house, sweep the yard, and do laundry. Only then do they start preparing breakfast and other duties. The standards of cleanliness are carefully maintained in religious families, where the home is believed to be the temple of God.

Willingly to fulfill her husband’s wishes

Although it is not considered attractive to serve in modern society, getting married, the wife becomes the husband’s servant.She must recognize him as an elder and obey in everything. Women told me that a wife should be ready to give up all her affairs if her husband asked her to do something. Therefore, a girl entering into marriage is advised from the very first day to start studying her husband’s habits, his mood, what he loves and what does not. In this way, she becomes a perfect servant who can always please her husband. Only in such a situation can there be peace in the family.

For example, the Srimad-Bhagavatam tells the story of Cyavana Muni, a great sage who was very angry and very old, and his beautiful young wife Sukanya.She behaved with her husband very docile, understanding his character. Indian women told me that, of course, in the West, such an attitude towards a woman is called slavery, but in reality it is not. This is a special tactic with which a woman can win the heart of her husband, no matter how irritable or rude he may be.

Gita Govinda: “Yes, today women are taking on male roles, men are taking on female roles. Therefore, society is degrading from day to day. But we cannot change some of the roles.Let’s say a man cannot bear and give birth to a child. Until we can change that, how can we say that men become women and vice versa? We must follow what nature has created. Otherwise, chaos will reign. ”

At the same time, the woman in the family is treated as the representative of the Goddess of Fortune, Lakshmi. Therefore, the children bow at her feet, ask for blessings and deeply respect her. It is even difficult to imagine that in an Indian family an elderly woman would end up in a nursing home: children eagerly take care of their parents until their last days.

It is difficult even to imagine that in an Indian family an elderly woman would end up in a nursing home: children willingly take care of their parents until their last days

Speak affectionately with her husband

There are several words in Russian that characterize the speech of a bad wife in mockery : “Saws”, “started up”. It can be understood that a woman’s angry and capricious speech can destroy a family. Geeta Govinda: “Work causes the husband so much anxiety, outside the house he meets with aggression, competition, difficulties.If, having come home, he meets the same attitude from his wife, demands, quarrels, then where should he go? You need to meet him with affectionate speeches. ” In the presence of a husband, one should not raise one’s voices, one should not allow familiarity. Therefore, many wives in India call their husbands “swami” or “prabhu”, which means “master,” and refer to him as “you.”

Reward for chastity

To be unchaste, that is, to disregard all these precepts, is to commit a great sin.“There is no greater sinner on this earth than an unchaste woman” (Pancha-Tantra 4.35). It is said that if a person eats food prepared by an unchaste woman, he becomes the lowest of men, and his pious deeds in the last seven days are destroyed. Even to see an unchaste woman is to be defiled.

Whereas a chaste woman who follows all the above rules can be considered a saint.

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