Words, movements, debates, arguments, culture, status quo, laws, and bans - all set against a certain change. One might wonder why this revolution is so targeted, why its many faces bear the scars of countless attempts to destroy it. The ideology of gender equality ignites arguments in many arenas. As an African woman, I have witnessed the attacks on this ideology and have personally been attacked for believing in it. Not just as an ideology, but for enshrining it as a core value. Misunderstandings and an inability to grasp the concept breed disgust and contempt for a movement that simply seeks to ensure that everyone is fully seen and represented. A movement that has held not malice nor vitriol, but love and hope for a world that constantly threatens to reject its own.
On a personal level, this value has liberated me from the unconscious domestications of unworthiness and self-shrinking tendencies that would have me conform to expectations that prefer a lesser or altered version of my true self. It is not a quest for superiority, but an inspiration to live wholly and authentically, to be empowered to evolve and grow, and to not just be uncaged but also unshackled from the dogma and oppressive norms that keep us captive - for everyone. It is a vision to see everybody thrive, not just survive, and to create a space that embraces grace for all individuals despite their gender. It is an affirmation of our uniqueness, where no one is above us or beneath us, but also an acknowledgment and celebration of our differences; the blessing of our strengths to serve and the blessing of our weaknesses to acknowledge and receive support. It serves as a compass to our collective emancipation from the prison of traditions that hold us captive, granting us the power to take back our wings and sour on our respective journeys without the limitations of conformity disguised as integrity. It provides a firm foundation where I can confidently embrace the paradoxes that define my identity - being vulnerable yet courageous, flawed yet perfect, whole yet part of a larger whole.
Home is often described as a safe place, a haven of rest, where one can truly see and be seen. In this context, equality is that home and equity is the path to reach it. It is a home that many of us have sought and found, a place where we hope to welcome those who are burdened by the chains that hinder our progress. Equality is a banner that advocates for the humanity of all, offering hope and compassion to those who have been deprived of these essentials. It has undeniably made the world a better place, and it is a cause that I unapologetically stand for.