To all the women out there: you aren’t fragile – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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To all the women out there: you aren’t fragile

What is women's empowerment?

Asia Atienza

Accepting women’s viewpoints or making an effort to seek them, raising the status of women through education, awareness, literacy and training. Promoting women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices and their right to influence social change for themselves and others.

Why is women's empowerment important in Bermuda? Let’s talk about it. There are systems, cultures and norms that have been built to oppress women. Bermuda has a history of extreme, gender-based violence that manifests into cultural norms such as verbal assault, male gazes, entitlement to the female body and misconceptions/violations of consent. These challenges present themselves in formal and informal settings.

This is a topic we aim to bring awareness and solutions to at You Aren’t Fragile. Our very name goes against social norms of femininity that are projected on to women. Traditionally, women are seen as delicate and expected to act as such when we are the exact opposite.

Being a woman means that you hold an infinite amount of power that for centuries society and governments have attempted to diminish. It is now up to women to find it and reclaim our own narrative. Hence, You Aren’t Fragile.

Misogyny is everywhere around us. From school-uniform requirements and government structures to workplace dress codes. The emphasis has been always placed on what women can do to protect themselves rather than correcting the male-dominated behaviour through education, awareness and understanding.

Most efforts to reduce gender-based violence point to women to protect themselves from the problem, rather than addressing the problem itself. Doesn’t this sound a bit counterintuitive? But with every day, with every year, with every century that passes, we are getting closer and closer to closing the gender gap.

Although a long process, it is not impossible. We must uplift ourselves and empower other women.

Society has taught us to compete with each other: who’s the prettiest? Who’s the skinniest? And so on and so forth — all based on society’s constructs of what a woman should be.

We have been all pitted against each other, and that is our biggest weakness. You Aren’t Fragile was formed to remind all women that, in the words of the late Japanese short-story writer Ryunosuke Satoro, “individually, we are one drop. Together, we are the ocean”.

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Published April 28, 2022 at 7:48 am (Updated April 28, 2022 at 7:48 am)

To all the women out there: you aren’t fragile

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