The 5th Sustainable Development Goal: Gender equality challenging the mentalities

‘’We don’t have a plan B, because there is not a planet B’’,- these are the words of Ban Ki-moon (the United Nations Secretary-General). These words seems to conclude 17 global goals set by the United Nations, widely known as The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Those include poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice. Those goals and targets will apply to all countries that include: ‘’developed’’ and ‘’developing’’ nations.

When I took over to select the topic of my essay about one of those goals, it was hard to decide because we should think several times, we should choose writing and rationalising with a pen and a paper. That’s because these topics are  not easy to review and can cause  a wide range of debates and social discussion. Before I start writing about this topic I want to explain you why I did this choice, thus, the reason why I choose to handle the matter of gender equality, as a sharp social topic that today needs a restoration of critical thinking and debating. The main motive why I choose to talk about this issue is because I predict the achievement of the SDGs if the women takes the same attention as the men. The society should accept the fact that girls should be viewed not as beneficiaries of change, but as agent of change. Issues unique to women include sex trafficking, sexual abuse, traditional practices against all women and girls in the public and private sphere, such as forced marriage.

While I was reading ‘Burned Alive’, a book that tells about a true story of a 17 year-old Jordan girl, called Souad. A true story, almost in a unbelievable cruelty, in a country where women are victims of the law of men, where the taboos,  silence, twisted psychology are the calls of this woman to understand them in this corner of the world, where the  conditions of a lot of women turns them into victims of the customary violence. The reason why I am including in this essay a part of this book is not related to promoting a great must-to-read book, because what we touch in our reality is far away  with what the suffering that are handling women in different societies, bowed down from the bloody norms and rules. ‘’But for a mother who was submissive to the degree my mother was, it was OK to kill girls. For a father like mine, it was normal to chop off his daughters hair with sheep shears, and to beat her with a belt or a cane or tie her up in the stable all night with the cows.’’- that’s what Soad describes in her book after surviving the flames of the fire and left the country, but still living with the fear of dying whether her family finds her.  

In a analogy with this book, I even find a book in my mother tongue, that describes the conditions of my country after the dictator period and the war of the emancipation of the Albanian women. ‘If I were a boy’ is another story of an Albanian women that suffers from the Anatolian traditions and customs, suffers the violence and the obligation to get married with a old men that she doesn’t love (a tradition that in my country continues mostly in rural zones ). ‘’If I were a boy I would tell the world of men that the hand that downs the cradle, is that hand that rolls the shaft of the human fate, because she and only she can lead life to shining or dark horizon.’’- these are the word of Dije(main character of the book) who suffers under the coverage of the fake honour, that doesn’t permit her to go to school and live her life free.    

To disconnect it a little bit from the literary point of view, even though this is based on true human stories, let’s try to remind a little the powerful words of Gandhi. ‘’To educate a men means to educate a only person; to educate a women, means to educate a society.’’ If you don’t believe this, the digits talk itself! A society that invests in equal possibilities about education boys and girls, has a growth of the national product to 25% more than the countries that do not invest in this direction. Lowing the gender inequality leads to the growth of the agriculture assets up to 20%. Challenging the stereotypes about gender roles and creating the same possibilities for employment, for women and men equally, would help that gradually to become the replacement of the traditional role, where male is the pillar of the family and breaking the chains of this mentality for males and females.  A woman should not be watched as a blocked in her ‘’genetically fatal’’ triangle, between kids, kitchen and religious institutions. 

Recently I read that one of the most famous American dictionaries, Merrian Webster has rated ‘feminism’ as the word of the 2017. The interest for this mandate started from the women campaigns, new television shows and movies over women’s case. Naturally the question arises: ‘Is this a sign of the reaction of our society or is it a ‘cyclic war’ for emancipation but using old means?’

To my opinion, in the society where I live, even with the positive changes that are happening, the war of our society for gender equality faces with big obstacles, inherited, but disguised with sophisticated phraseology, with a masculinist essence, decorated with beautiful feminist covering. This war of our society must not be seen as a ‘tolerance’ or mercy of males in society, politics, family, government; but it should be done without hypocrisy, without masks or twisted ideology  that only bring regress.  Regardless temptation to see ‘women as a sex object’, that is spreading  as a epidemic situation, It has created a conformation and adoption with those ‘new’ missions and functions that affect secretly the truth about gender equality in world.

Different corporate have a highly effective contribution in helping, supporting the achievement of equally  gender and  every goal that I mentioned firstly. If our society gathers to give a hand the achievement of these common objectives, the life of women will improve and our society will get better. The concrete example is the missionary women from a Christian association that helped Soaud’s life. Soaud showed the world a face that  the our world had not seen, touched or felt. In the end, Dija was right:’‘the hand that downs the cradle is that hand that rolls the shaft of the human fate.’’ 

by Arlinda Doci


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My name is Arlinda. I am 18 year old. I am a high school student at Eqrem Cabej High School in Tirana, Albania. I love writing and usually essays about these topics that have a big discussion in our world. My opinion matters! Everyone's opinion matters.

6 Comments » for The 5th Sustainable Development Goal: Gender equality challenging the mentalities
  1. Nezo says:

    Great essay!

  2. Marinela says:

    Arlinda has done a very good job and you just know how to do something so perfect. I am happy for you and your passions, wish you great success! ☺ Through this essay I have reflected a lot, thank you!

  3. Egisa says:

    A great essay.Congratulations Arlinda😊😊

  4. Amie E. says:

    Bravo, Arlinda! You’re right – your opinion does matter. I lived in Albania for 14 years and saw firsthand the difficulties that you describe. I worked with many teenage girls that had aged out of state-run children’s homes and heard the horror stories of abuse. These girls had no place to go and were often victimized by men as they were trying make a living. This was no easy task for 16 year old girls who couldn’t legally find a job. My husband is Albanian and my 4 daughters were all born and raised in Albania until last year. Please keep speaking up. It is young people like you who will bring about change. God bless you! Je vertet nje yll!

  5. Choco says:

    Wow! You’re essay style is unique. Loved it.

  6. Arlinda says:

    Thank you very much to everyone of you guys. 🙂

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