As the world gets ready to celebrate International Human Rights Day this Friday, SFL is thrilled to announce some timely news: Women For Liberty will be launching a brand new website this Friday, December 10th! (Check back here for updates.)
Women For Liberty (WFL) endeavors to raise awareness about women’s rights violations and educate, develop, and empower women to promote liberty worldwide. Speaking from the standpoint of individualist feminism, WFL envisions a free and prosperous society for every individual while recognizing that women often face a particular set of challenges that require focused attention. The program is primarily an educational forum, spreading awareness on a wide range of issues including economic well-being, employment, reproductive rights, gender expression, and family, as well as training women in how to be entrepreneurs, academics, and and much more. Our goal is to build a pro-liberty social community that supports classically liberal feminist ideas while encouraging peaceful dialogue across ideological, national, and even gender boundaries.
Recently, you might have noticed the #OrangeTheWorld hashtag around the web, as people express support for the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. The idea behind the campaign is to raise awareness about gender-based violence. Through Women For Liberty’s participation in this campaign, we aim to present the individualist voice against gender-based violence and demonstrate that we stand together with people of all ideological persuasions in raising a cohesive voice for the rights of women to own property, to be safe from gender-based violence, and to direct their own lives.
Gender-based stereotypes have restricted the ability of both men and women to express themselves as individuals in tremendous ways. These stereotypes aren’t confined to any one society. Due to the idea that women are less capable or deserving than men, in many parts of the world, women still lack access to property and legal status as citizens independent of their marital status. In too many places, women’s lives are incorporated into that of their husband, under whose “protection” and authority they are expected to live out their lives.
Worse, there are many women who haven’t yet realized that their rights have been snatched away and that their future is needlessly restricted. For example, in my work training women to become entrepreneurs in Nepal, it is clear that the legal and cultural obstacles to becoming self-sufficient are so complex that they cannot be understood without training specifically to help people navigate the difficulties.
The current status of women’s rights across the globe is an impediment to the freedom and prosperity of everyone. In many places, government still provides protection to men that is not afforded to women in the form of policies that ignore violence against women or treats them as undeserving of the same access to legal recourse as men.
The core value of libertarian philosophy is individual liberty, and it is this idea that Women For Liberty takes as a central value. WFL aims to raise the global profile of this approach to women’s rights. Since one of the most visible barriers to women’s freedom is gender-based violence, especially where it is deemed legally and socially acceptable, the #OrangeTheWorld campaign is a fitting avenue through which to express our commitment to bettering the lives of women everywhere.
If we expect to achieve a freer society, we will have to work together to first get rid of state-sponsored oppression of women. Social norms that create an atmosphere that accepts gender-based violence are reinforced by laws that fail to demonstrate respect for every individual. It is an enormous challenge to seek such a truly revolutionary change, and we should not expect to succeed in a day. With enough commitment, however, we can start building a future where liberty and individuality are respected regardless of gender.
With hope in my heart for a better and freer future, I’m thrilled to take over this project and to direct the activities of the new WFL. I hope you’ll join us in taking a stand for women’s rights this Friday — and using the #OrangeTheWorld filter on your Facebook profile picture.
Be sure to check out the new Women For Liberty Facebook page as well, to stay up to date on our activity and to read blog posts from WFL leaders around the world. We’ll be featuring such perspectives throughout the day on Friday, in celebration of International Human Rights Day.
Let’s #OrangeTheWorld in #16days!