Saturday, October 31, 2020

Editorial: Allies needed for gender equality

People have been fighting for equal rights for years, but people might associate that battle strictly with race.

Gender, of course, is still a huge issue in the United States and across the world. News editor Maggie McVey reported this week on the “Step It Up” program recently introduced by UN Women to make gender equality a top priority in governments worldwide.

The most important factor in the program’s success, however, comes in the form of civilian support. To perpetuate the effort, continued conversations as part of everyday life is essential for progress. Additionally, the program looks to incorporate social media such as Facebook and Twitter to garner additional public support.

While that sounds like a great plan, the bottom line is this is still reliant on widespread public attention. A fraction of the population speaking out about the issue isn’t enough to create cultural change — this needs to become ingrained into people’s lists of priorities.

Although it is unrealistic to change every person’s perspective, the focus should be on drawing out those who support the movement in principle and put those beliefs into action.

We at Cardinal Points believe a large percentage of the general population agrees in equality, regardless of gender. You might be in that category, too.

But how much have you directly contributed to making it happen?

There are plenty of organizations here at Plattsburgh State that have worked to create that change, including the Center for Womyn’s Concerns, No More!, Shine On! and Take Back the Night. Alpha Phi Alpha has also been at the forefront among Fraternity and Sorority Life in shining a spotlight on the issue.

However, the members of these organizations are a small piece of the campus community. While the work they provide for advancing the cause is vital, there is a definite need for increased involvement from the student body to generate even greater support.

Does that mean you need to join one of the above organizations? Not necessarily. But perhaps considering what can be done to help in the fight for gender equality more consciously, including simply attending one of these organization’s events, is a great way of supporting the cause.

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