For decades, women have strived to gain equality with men. They have been held back and their opportunities have been taken away from them because of their gender. Feminism is a movement which attempts to achieve equality in all key areas including education, political, employment and cultural sphere. Actually, that is why I am interested in Feminism since it has aimed at giving these rights to women who have been deprived of their equality and privileges that men have never given them.

This phenomenon of sex discrimination is speared especially in the Arab world and it is mirrored in our everyday’s deeds, behaviors and thoughts.

Although many people approve that women nowadays have already a lot of rights and feminism should stop, we still need it!  A century after the suffragettes fought for the right to vote, women are still lagging behind men in many ways; women are treated as objects and less deserving than the opposite sex. Indeed, parents teach their daughters how to protect themselves from rape, instead of teaching their sons to not deal with women as objects,  women are prevented from  hanging out or even alone at night since it makes them “an easy target”, “asking for it”. In addition, in Middle Eastern countries parents kill their children with no accurate reason except that she is a girl. And because, in Iran and Afghanistan women who join college to accomplish their studies can be considered justifiable grounds for distorting their innocent faces. Besides, people still blindly agree that women do not need to be paid like men since they are under men’s financial control.

I’ve always admitted that I’m for equality, but not for feminism and honestly I don’t remember the first time I thought about it. I grew up in a tolerant environment, raised by an open-minded family and that what I made me think that way. My family is fairly politically active when it comes to both feminism and LGBT rights. Not only that but my grandmother was one of the first activists in our country by being a member in the National Union of Tunisian Women; the first feminist organization and that what made her one of most famous women in the 50s. She was also known by her seriousness, hard-working and participated in liberating the country. I’ve always felt proud of her and I used her guidance, I wanted to be like her, to continue what she began.

I remember two or three years ago when I started following a few women on Twitter who helped me and I am really grateful that they were always available for me to give any piece of advice, push me to express what I believe every single day. I’ve also read thousands of books that negotiate feminism and helped to clarify many things and inspire me as well. Moreover, the better majority of my friends, both male and female also identify themselves as feminists. All these factors affected me to finally declare that I joined feminism, in the last year of high school. Basically, I was raised that way and it has continued in my adulthood.

Most importantly, being a feminist or even defending women rights’ is a humanist action before everything as more than 60% of women all over the world suffer from violence and it is high time to take action and make a change. In other words, activists must fight till the end to have a minimum of equality especially in the Arab world. The society should also understand that a feminist is not that woman who has a bad reputation and tries to solve her personal problems through that movement! Being feminist is about supporting, empowering others and not necessarily women they can be men also!

Well, sometimes I say I wish feminism would not exist and we would live in an ideal world where all humans are treated equally and therefore feminism would be exterminated but it is IMPOSSIBLE, it is an entire mentality that must change.

Maryem Meddeb, étudiante en Licence de Business Administration à la Mediterranean School Of Business.

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