- By Sara Morshedi
We are currently living in very troubling and uncertain times, what I’m referring to is the ongoing political situation in the U.S. How the American people have managed to vote for a man that has publicly bragged about sexually assaulting women is beyond me; it has rattled me to my very core. When former first lady Michelle Obama gave a speech in New Hampshire before the presidential election in November, she emphasized how it personally affected not only her but women all over America that Trump had openly made disrespectful comments towards women. She expressed how women felt offended by Trump’s oppressive and sexist attitude and underlined how demented it is that this behaviour is considered excusable in the 21st century1. Why are these comments being neglected? Is it because they concern the female population and not the male? I can’t help but think that if these remarks were made against the opposite gender it would’ve been an absolute outrage, not only in America but internationally as well.
How is it that women birthed the entire human civilization and still have to put up a fight to be treated fairly? How is it that we have countless articles in the UN promoting equality between the sexes but still women feel like they aren’t being heard? Women want to be respected at their work places, women want the right to decide over their own bodies and lives, women want to be paid the same salary as their male colleagues when they’re putting in the same amount of working hours. In the United Nations universal declaration of human rights it clearly states in article one that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that one should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood2. 49,6% of earth's population consists of females3 and we’re still dealing with these issues.
Many women are concerned with how Trump will handle issues concerning women such as birth control and abortion laws in the country. The president has expressed he will shut down Obamacare which provides coverage for different types of contraceptives. However, removing financially covered birth control isn’t the only issue that will arise among women when Obamacare is shutdown. Trump has also said that women who seek abortions should be punished for their action because he himself is “pro-life”4. What about the women who have been sexually taken advantage of or mothers whose lives are at risk because of a pregnancy? On the 24th of January Trump even signed an executive order that states that America will stop all funding to international organisations that are pro-abortion. What he doesn’t realize is that by changing the abortion laws this can backfire by resulting in more mothers trying to end their pregnancies in an unsafe way which can result in an increased number of deaths among women.
Trump wishes to apply his own health care system to replace Obamacare; according to him his plan will be better for the American people in the long term. This new system will cost a total of 550 billion dollars over 10 years and the method will result in approximately 21 million Americans losing their coverage until the new system is in place5. This will only result in a new range of issues for the American people. Trump has on numerous occasions made his anti-feminist attitude known to the public. He’s expressed disgust for breastfeeding women, he’s openly said that helping out in a household and taking care of children is a “wife's job”, he’s also said that women who are being sexually harassed at their job should leave their jobs even though these women have done nothing wrong6. These are not things that should be taken lightly. The president has also body shamed women by calling them overweight and unattractive on many occasions. It’s time women take their strength back and take action by condemning sexist behaviour and by standing up in unequal situations and demanding respect and equality in every aspect of their lives.
Ms Sara Morshedi is currently in her final term of undergraduate studies at the University of Gothenburg where she will receive a degree in Global Studies. She is also a research assistant and social media coordinator at IGD. Her views are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IGD.