Mihaela Miroiu, Andreea Marin, Delia, Emma Watson and Michelle Obama are among the top personalities fighting for gender equality, according to Romanians*.
Mihaela Miroiu (political scientist, philosopher and writer), Aluziva (Alina Greavu – activist, independent fundraiser, content creator), singer Delia Matache, Oana Băluță (teacher, a researcher specialized in gender equality and politics) and media personality Andreea Marin are the most famous public figures from Romania, which Romanians associate with sustained activity in the gender equality field and the promotion of women’s rights – shows a study done by the Solidarity and Equality Association.
“It’s a wrong world, and what could straighten it out would be the education of girls and giving access to their rights too. And who could decide with the most appropriate understanding of women’s issues if not women themselves? In a decent world, they cannot be in the minority or completely absent when decisions directly concerning them are made are taken. Once and for all they should be changed for the better. I believe in the Indian proverb that says that <<Gods are where women are cherished.>>”, said Andreea Marin, activist, “Prețuiește Viața” Foundation.
Internationally, Emma Watson, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Malala Yousafzai and Angelina Jolie are recognized for their involvement in promoting and defending women’s rights and identified as activists for gender equality.
Social media remains the main medium for supporting the fight for equal opportunities between men and women. 86% of educated women* in cities take concrete action in social media to support feminism and gender equality, and 87% of them at least occasionally follow online the activity of a feminist organization/platform that they believe is working to change mindsets and this is seen; 30% declare that they do not have enough information about the activity of feminist organizations; FILIA, A.L.E.G. and Girl Up are the most well-known associations that campaign for women’s rights;
94% of educated Romanian women believe that social media posts are the most sought-after activity related to feminist activities. 87% of respondents follow the activity of a feminist organization/platform online at least occasionally. Respondents from rural areas and those with secondary education seem more inclined to do it regularly, compared to those from urban areas and those with higher education;
“It is essential to understand that nowadays, social movements start from social media and quickly develop internationally. What I would like instead is an educational, constructive, pragmatic approach where we make everyone understand that we can no longer economically afford to hold women back – they must be allowed to choose and participate as they see fit and what is appropriate for them in society. The labor force deficit, especially in the STEM fields, is serious, and in order to register major progress, we need to educate mothers, educate young women in schools, and for women to be really well received in the companies.”, declared Mihaela Tudor, founder of the Solidarity and Equality Association and CEO of Tudor Communications.
Education and legislative initiatives as effective means of action meet the vast majority of responses. Respondents from rural areas and those with secondary education are in a greater proportion attached to the strategy of street demonstrations. 60% of educated women in the city expect the greatest involvement from state institutions. Then comes the mass media and relevant NGOs, considered responsible for promoting gender equality. Only 32% of respondents believe that street demonstrations (rallies, protests) are effective.
“We still live in historical backwardness regarding women’s access to political decisions, their appreciation for scientific and cultural merits, their access to investments for the development of fields in which they perform well. We do not live in a society where meritocracy is part of institutional, public common sense. But we live in a society where counterselection begins with the apparent disfavor of women in recognition of their merits and in their access as a significant and non-anonymous part of social progress.
I think it is still not too late for Romania to get out of the misogynistic captivity of the revolutionary times in which humanity wasted half of its capacities and talents without permission, keeping women anonymous or as it is now: as far as possible on the edges of decision and history. To work as much as possible and ask as little as possible“, says Mihaela Miroiu, political scientist, philosopher and writer.
In the spirit of this campaign, in order to get out of the gender stereotypes associated with the status of women, the Solidarity and Equality Association launches the campaign “The woman we MUST know”. Tell us about the one who makes you proud to be a woman, who was an example to you and taught you that you can be whatever you want in life. Send us her story and we’ll praise her for being a WOMAN!
In order to create awareness of gender inequality, the Solidarity and Equality Association continues to exhibit the portraits and stories of extraordinary women in fields such as science, technology, engineering, medicine, social entrepreneurship, art and culture, or women’s rights defense. The street exhibitions continue between June 14-28, in the outdoor paneling space of the Prahova County Museum of Natural Sciences, in the Ploiești Palace of Culture.
The study of the Equality and Solidarity Association aims to investigate how concepts such as gender equality, feminism and the feminist movement in Romania are perceived, women’s rights and their role in society, domestic violence and its effects etc. The entire study can be accessed aici.
*Respondents to the study conducted by the market research and polling company Brennan Group for the Solidarity and Equality Association are mostly women, urban residents, employed with higher education/manager/entrepreneur, with above average incomes. The study was compiled on the basis of 714 questionnaires.
The study was carried out with the support of: Brennan Group, JTI, Tudor Communications, European Women’s Association, Feminism for Real.
Photos: Pixabay, Eduard Andrica, Andreea Marin’s personal collection