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In the Name of Equality

Your mother goes to work, and earns just as much as your father.

Your sister graduated school, and studies law at university.

Your girlfriend, who you decide you want to be with, sits in the same Maths class as you.

That’s just the way your life is, right?

Look a little bit closer.

And maybe you still can’t see it, and that’s okay. I don't ask for much. You don't need to come down, but the least I ask of you is to stand from the window of your ivory tower, watch and listen.

I tell you that there are 62 million girls denied an education globally.

I tell you that 15 million girls under the age of 18 are married off with no say in the matter.

I tell you than an American woman fighting for her country in Iraq is more likely to be raped than killed by the enemy.

Look, I get it. At sixteen, seventeen or eighteen years old, you owe the world nothing.You were just lucky enough to be born into the top 1 percent and have your life paved out for you. However, across some ocean, we are sending sons to school and daughters down the aisle, and all in the name of what? Religion? Culture? Have some humanity, some sympathy. There’s no hiding from this. Time’s Up. Gender inequality is staring us in the face, and should be tolerated nor normalised any longer.

Emmeline Pankurst did not fight for women’s voting rights in the UK in the early 20th century for us to see a Yemeni woman unable to leave the house without her husband.

Katherine Johnson did not help NASA launch Apollo 11 to land the first two humans on the moon to witness less than 30 percent of STEM degree applicants being women.

And finally, Malala Yousafzai did not get shot in the head for campaigning for the female right to education to see with her own eyes those 62 million girls denied dreams and opportunities.

Start small. Wear black. In the name of your mother, sister, girlfriend, equality. Stand in solidarity, even if those affected seem far away. Because one day, gender parity will be a right in every country, as it should be, and not just a privilege.