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WOMEN EMPOWERMENT


Youth across the world have been marginalised in issues of political and decision-making processes, with young women encountering more and sever forms of discrimination when compared to their male counterparts. Due to social norms in many countries, young women's voices have been silenced to prevent them from standing up for their rights. Young women face poverty, numerous types of discrimination, inadequate and limited education, unemployment and few job opportunities. 

Introduction
Everyone was talking about it, well, almost everyone. In fact, they were not talking per se, they were sneering. I mean she is the one who put herself in that situation in the first place. If only she had listened to him and had not provoked him; she was the one to blame and now the poor man was harassed by the police. Women nowadays ask for a lot, why couldn’t they just shut their mouths and raise children like they are supposed to? This equal rights issue was ruining ‘our’ women, it was ruining African women – the Western men have left their women to disrespect them and now they want to spread the decay into the Motherland continent? These were questions men asked during their drinking sprees and women who had nothing except sitting under trees all day long gossiped about.



When Taylor Swift quoted Albright (she credited it to Katie Couric though) in her interview with Vanity Fair, after the gag Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made at her expense during the Golden Globes, most people might have taken her speech lightly but the thing is, this quote could not be far from the truth. But in Fey and Poehler’s defense we can say the comediennes were just doing their job – making jokes with no intention of offending anyone as they later claimed. But that’s another topic for another day.



ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA – Almost twenty (20) years after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPfA) by the United Nations’ 189 member states at the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, China, 1995), the Declaration is still a powerful tool to be recognised.* It has enabled and compelled its members to address the challenges faced by all women and to swiftly respond to those challenges in order to assist in the development of women. Each Member State that espoused the Platform for Action committed itself towards advancement of gender equality, peace and empowerment goals for all women.

Days ago I went to a local mall to do some shopping. As I was walking in the shopping centre, a group of young men (how I wish I could call them gentlemen but they were far cry from that) walking behind me started to give me catcalls. I ignored them and kept on walking but unfortunately the catcalls did not stop, as a matter of fact people started to stare at me so I decided to do the only thing that I thought will save me from further embarrassment I was forced to endure - I slowed down to allow them to pass me by. As they passed, one of them took hold of my left arm and did the Jason Derulo’s Wiggle line on me (Now I don’t have anything against Derulo, as matter of fact, I'm his fan.); and he said, “Damn, gal you have bright future behind you.” Hearing that, I saw red; in my mind I was puffing my chest. If there is anything I can’t stand is a situation whereby a woman is demeaned and worse still, when that woman happens to be me! - I felt so degraded. So what did I do? I gave the guy my most sincere smile, looked him in the eyes and said,