Your engagement in conversations around gender equality is critical and sets the tone for the discussion that many like to avoid. Due to certain cultural norms that are present worldwide, gender inequality is normalized and expected. For centuries, the divide between men and women has been unavoidable. This divide erases the identities of nonconforming individuals, further separating us from solidarity in the fight for gender equality. As youth, it is critical for us to begin filling in this divide, and engage in an international movement toward a gender equal world.
During the summer of 2016, WorldLink invited five high school interns from across the San Diego region and Tijuana to compile research on issues associated with gender and gender inequality, including gender definitions, gender-based violence, leadership and participation, sustainable development, and peace and security. Miguel, Hana, Ashutosh, Izadora, and Maya each took a look at their issue of interest through a critical lens, obtaining information from a variety of sources and presenting various perspectives on gender inequality.
As editors, we expanded on the research done by the summer interns on the 2017 Youth Town Meeting’s global topic, “The Impact of Gender Inequality”. We dove into the subtopics of the inequalities faced by people of all genders, and engaged in an in-depth analysis on deeply rooted cultural and political ideals and norms that impact society today. Through this process, we were able to learn more about issues that are not commonly discussed and have been inspired to fight against the various manifestations of gender inequality.
Gender inequality continues to be a prevalent issue here in local communities and across the globe. With the help of social media, the efforts to create a gender equal world are now being brought to the attention of millions. Together, we are able to recognize these injustices directed toward marginalized communities and aid people in their fight against brutal inequality. The recent political climate has also brought to light issues related to gender equality, such as sexual assault and rape culture, and has made them a part of public discourse. We hope you will join us in helping to continue this critical discussion on the various issues associated with gender equality that are presented in the WorldLink Reader.
In a world where injustices such as gender inequality are commonplace, it is our duty to use our individual skills and talents to speak out against oppression and inequality in any way we can. As Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Gender inequality is deeply rooted in many societies and furthers us from progression; it is our responsibility as human beings to engage in strong solidarity to end the conditioning of an unequal world. It is up to us to take the initiative and create a widespread impact to demolish the systemic oppression faced by people of all genders.
Brianna Slaughter and Noorhan Amani
WorldLink 2016 Fall Interns