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Image Source: @JennaKutcher

*Feel me in a metaphorical sense. Contrary to the current US administration’s beliefs, I have the right not to be touched when I enter public domain.

Hi there. I’m K.Gill, a 20-something, undergrad (Hooray! Another millennial!), passionate about voicing the need for change in many aspects of today’s world in relation to the role, position and rights of women. In my final year of university it became apparent to me that for almost every issue a friend would approach me with, my immediate response was ‘coconut oil’. Dry skin? Coconut oil. Oily skin? Coconut oil. Stressed out? Coconut oil massage. Healthier diet hacks? Cook in Coconut oil. Though I am a firm believer in the properties of Coconut oil, unfortunately, it cannot remedy the rippling affects of gender inequality.

Though there is no extraordinary back-story of how I got here, I am inclined to highlight that it is extraordinary that I am here; an ethnic minority female who pursued a degree in the arts, moved alone to different cities to do so, and was fully supported every step of the way. I was fortunate enough to be empowered by a family and wider community that recognised and championed the value and importance of every child’s education, irrespective of their gender.

Whilst #LetGirlsLearn is a movement of great importance, the need for women to be taken seriously in the public domain is, too, nothing but a timely issue of importance. With FGM procedures continuing to be performed despite its illegality; equal-pay battles continuing to prevail in modern democracies; girls being shamed for menstruation in developing countries and female reproductive rights being decided by a roundtable with not a single uterus present, women have a long way to go. A woman’s ‘rightful place’ is an issue which continues to be Trumped by ill-founded, wide-spread, cultural beliefs of misogyny, enforced by the patriarchy on national, regional and global agendas.

Instead of playing the blame-game with this hot potato, (which the patriarchy is obviously the clear winner of) women will only receive the consideration and respect they so rightfully deserve if the conversation is inclusive of us. The most effective way to empower women, is to listen to the voices of empowered women. You need not a university education, a strong financial backing, nor a large social media following to be empowered; simply, a recognition of injustice, instead of misfortune, when looking within and beyond your own circumstances, with gender as a primary foci of such analysis. This blog, therefore, is my voice, if not my contribution, as an empowered female, to the wider conversations.

Yes, we have a long way to go, but let us not forget, that as women, we run this mother.

KG