Jana Huwyler: YUVA Sustainable Development Goals

My name is Jana Huwyler, I am 21 years old and I am from Switzerland. I study law in the second year at the University of Berne. For my internship abroad, I wanted to do something with rights, to gain an insight into an other law system. In Switzerland the equality of woman and men is pretty much given. So I found it important to help improving the woman rights in a country where the equality isn’t very advanced so far.

Feminism has been considered a “dirty” word the past 10-15 years. But as I learned lately at a lecture of the lions club: To be a feminist means just the radical notion that women are people – the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. I find it very wrong and frightening that this is not the normality. The sad truth of the matter is that we start off with men as the standard, as the norm. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.

I belief that, among other things, the women empowerment starts in the social empowerment. Within the Goal 5: ”Gender Equality” of YUVA Sustainable Development Goals and the Target 2: ”Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation”, I hope to make a positive contribution. In my opinion the source of inequality is at home by raising the boys and girls differently. We do a great disservice to boys in how we raise them. We define masculinity in a very narrow way. We teach boys to be afraid of fear, of weakness, of vulnerability. We teach them to be a hard man. We say to girls: You can’t have too much ambition and shouldn’t be too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, pretend that you are not, especially in public, otherwise you will emasculate him. Because of our wrong education, girls are not being of equal worth as men.

Changing the status quo is always uncomfortable. Therefore it is even more important to make a change within the framework of our provided possibilities. But for now, I want to contribute my part. Like Emma Watson said at her speech back in september 2014 at an event for the HeForShe campaign: ”If not me, who? If not now when?”.