It comes as no surprise that a lot of young people in the modern-day do not recognize the need for feminism. Although, women and girls face sexism every single day. From catcalls in the street to not being taken seriously, to receiving unproper education curriculums that don’t teach them how to unlearn harmful practices in all its form.
Despite all the fights along with the past that women and activists had made to eliminate injustice, gender-based violence against women and girls, sexism truly is still rife. Therefore, we need young people to join in the feminist movement so they can help combat this status quo. After all, today’s young people are the leaders of tomorrow.
Out of the preceding, and on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the executive director of Fe-Male Hayat Mirshad, conducted several awareness sessions for students of secondary classes in “SSCC Kfarehbab School” in Ghazir a town of the Keserwan-Jbeil Governorate of Lebanon, and in “St Anne Besancon Beyrouth School” on topics related to the importance of the young generation in the feminist movement and the importance of working on awareness with young girls.
The students whose number were 112 girls and 26 boys, aged between 15-17 years, carried enthusiasm for being the agents of change, and the session was an interactive discussion for more than one hour, with topics tackling mechanisms of reporting harassment, gender-based violence and the situation of women in Lebanon with a focus on social norms and traditions and discriminatory laws.
The session also included a Q&A section, where a lot of students had very intriguing questions for Ms. Mirshad. A recurring theme was how to be more active in their own societies, as they also wondered why women are disregarded in such ways in the eyes of our laws. They felt the need to push back and fight against the inequality we face everyday, which made the sessions a success.
It is also important to mention that many young girls felt encouraged to ask about ways to fight abuse and speak up or help their friends speak up, and so Ms. Mirshad provided guidance as to what to do and how to support each other as well as several hotlines that can be used in these cases.
At the end of the session, the girls expressed how they took advantage of their first of its kind awareness meeting and mentioned “the session gave us new tools to report on sexual harassment, violence, and on how to react towards inequality.”