Feminism, or being a feminist, has never been more widely proclaimed than it is now. Since last year, women around the world have rallied behind hashtags such as #MeToo and #TimesUp, courageously outing sexual predation by aggressors and high-profile men who have assaulted and harassed them with impunity. But for all the victims who have the strength, celebrity power or social media influence to tell their ordeal, there remains a community of women or girls who lack the support or opportunity to share theirs. These are the #MeToo or #TimesUp stories we're not hearing.
Here’s the gutting truth: Sexual assault, gender divide, discrimination and misogyny are still prevalent – and we shouldn't need hashtags to remind us that. The more depressing thought may be that in a society where rules and law are in place, women’s rights and welfare are still effectively denied because “we’re never good enough”, so they say. How do we tell young girls, who aspire to be heads of governments, CEOs, tech engineers or even just loving but driven working mothers, that there's still no escaping the corrosive culture of patriarchal supremacy?
International Women’s Day is not a fleeting fashion moment or a yearly gimmick. It's a call-to-action that urges all – not just women – to tackle the rot at the core of a power structure that’s tipped toward a particular gender. It’s high time for women to get their fair share at the table.
Quotes compiled by Diana Khoo, Anandhi Gopinath, Tan Gim Ean, Kong Wai Yeng and Shalini Yeap.