Lonely travelers not alone
China had made “Men and Women are equal” a political commitment right after its founding and that had later become a manifesto in our first constitution in 1954 and in other various laws and regulations, vowing to protect the rights of women and children. In fact, China was among the earliest achievers in international community to recognize women’s status and rights, and has actively participated in many international treaties serving that purpose. However, the early achievements had not served as a head start for China, and we had made little progress on gender equality over the past decades.
Apart from the deeply rooted traditions as a male-dominating society, an important reason keeping China from mainstreaming gender equality is that few Chinese women are in full awareness of their unequal status and even fewer have the will and power to change the status quo. As far as I’m concerned, the core to this problem may come down to what I just praised about in paragraph one----a nominal achievement without a fight, thus rendering Chinese women with neither right-consciousness nor inner drive to speak out for themselves.
If you have ever tried package tours and travelling on your own, you would know how big a difference there is between the two. On package tours, you get service and support, at an expense of course. You may be satisfied with the travel arrangements in general, but you also have to endure shopping visits that offset your desire to spend more time at important attractions. But going on the road alone is all about making your own choices. You need to have your own idea about where to go, how to get there and what you wanna do. You have all the control over your journey, yet the hardest part is being able to take control over all the decisions you have to make and this all comes down to having you being very self conscious about your needs.
The situation for women and their rights in China is similar to a package tour. We have long enjoyed the service of our government, who seemed to have spoken for us, but obviously from males’ standpoint. For this reason, Chinese women hardly had the chance and the urge to think about what we really want or were we really taken care of. In short, Chinese women as a group have lost their soul and voice. This is obvious in almost all decision-making levels, with female representation hardly reach 15%, whereas the minimal requirement is 30% by UN standard in order to effectively include women’s needs in the decision-making process.
But with more women receiving higher education, some of them start to have a clear view of the dire situation of female in our society, and they are trying to make a change. However, this is by no means easy, with the larger majority of their own kind consider them being unconventional, unfeminine and even crazy, while in effect, the “teasers” are the numbed and silenced, from deep within.
Being an avid lonely traveler myself, I’m definitely one of the “laughed-ats” in this cause. Knowing it could be a formidable task, I still made advocating gender equality in China and around the world my life vision, because I feel passionate about it and it’s the right thing to do. Yes, simple as that----the right thing to do. My appetite for justice made me choose law as my major in college, even though I’m not practicing, for it’s never my intention to waste it in the lucrative IPO departments in law firms. But passion alone is far from enough, as my power alone stands no chance with the strong resistance from an entire society. Joining VOF on the other hand will likely produce a different scenario. It’s like an incubator for women’s empowerment movement and women leaders. I can absorb power and know-how from this “gigantic battery” tailor made for me and thousands of like-minded women around world.
Despite that we all seem to be travelling alone on this trying journey, VOF connects us together and guides us to pave a way only traveled by us! By joining forces, we’re sure to bring home THE CHANGE!