Sunday, March 8 is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is Each for Equal! As the campaign website says:
An equal world is an enabled world.
Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.
We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.
Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.
Let’s all be #EachforEqual.
What This Means In The Trafficking Context
Equal access to education
Without education, children become severely hampered in their ability to thrive and succeed in life, making them that much more vulnerable to traffickers in their struggle to get by and survive. Ensuring everyone has access to education is key to preventing trafficking and exploitation.
Valuing the rights of the children, the poor, and otherwise vulnerable
Whatever else is true about traffickers, there is something in their mindset where they see vulnerable people as being objects to exploit rather than people worthy of basic dignity and respect. We need to keep promoting a worldview where everyone is understood to have basic rights and worth.
Teaching boys AND girls about consent and healthy relationships
Relationships are a two-way street. In order to have healthy and safe relationships, both sides need to understand consent, respect, and healthy communication. It’s not just about girls learning to protect themselves. Boys need to understand they can be victims of sexual violence, and both need to understand what a perpetrator of sexual violence is.
Breaking down “stranger danger” stereotypes and highlighting systemic traffickers
While there are still cases of abduction and exploitation perpetrated by strangers, more often trafficking happens through someone the victim knows. What is also true is that there are systemic conditions that make trafficking more prevalent: poverty, statelessness, racism and discrimination. We need to create a world where there is more equal access to opportunity and protection of rights and freedoms.
Highlighting Amazing Women Leaders in the Anti-Trafficking World
There are some amazing women advancing progress in anti-trafficking.
Khae advancing the importance of mental health and counseling – those most vulnerable to trafficking offer suffer trauma from other life experiences. Helping them heal strengthens their resilience to the lures of trafficking
Boom Mosby leading law enforcement-NGO collaboration in Thailand – a victim centered approach has become the industry standard in intervention, to bring perpetrators to justice while protecting and advancing the needs of child survivors
Carter Quinley advancing the cause of prosecution as a form of prevention – as a part of Nvader, and later LIFT International, Quinley helped advance the idea that NGOs can come alongside law enforcement to provide the legal support to help expand capacity to fight trafficking and bring perpetrators to justice
Helen Sworn advancing the idea that the corporate sector has role to play in anti-trafficking – businesses and corporations don’t have to be the “bad guy” — they too have incentives to ensure a clean supply chain
Minh Dang shows that survivors aren’t just victims to be saved, they have a leadership role to play too – we can create a world where survivors are invited to play a bigger role and help create more inclusive and just communities and policies
Join in on International Women’s Day!
Put your arms out and strike the #EachforEqual pose and share it with all your friends!