On the role of woman and her place in society, and whether her dignity has been clouded by contemporary propositions. Has the drive to “Empower Women” belittled woman’s familial prerogatives to raise a family?
All men and women are endowed with the same dignity and the primary value of all human life should be recognized and guaranteed. On the other hand, all men and women are not created equal in their characters and abilities. Simone de Beauvoir wrote about “the torment that so many young women know, bound hand and foot by love and motherhood, without having forgotten their former dreams.” Women, same as men, have dreams and should be empowered to realize them.
Their freedom should be supported, providing their liberation is not freedom from the responsibility of the home and family. Society is not made of single individuals but of many homes. The strongest asset of women, as G. K. Chesterton highlighted, is their “variability”. They have the particular talent of combining several tasks and of giving their best for each of them. Many women would be happy to combine both work and family, and have very large plans. Women’s rights have become a top priority on the European policy agenda and a whole rhetoric has emerged to promote new rights.
This bargaining of rights threatens the universality of the Charter of Human Rights and runs the risk of misunderstanding and transforming women’s dreams. Albert Einstein stated that: “The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd.” The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” Each free and responsible woman should have the means to pursue her dreams, which by no means can be dictated by the political agenda of governments and NGOs.
By Krisztina Szalachy, Intern at WYA HQ, New York.