On November 12, 1918 women received the right to vote in Germany. During that time, women were perceived as passive and uneducated. They had no other choice than to be ruled by men. Colonized people had to live under the same circumstances in different parts of the world.
Many things have changed since then. I probably live in one of the most democratic parts of the world. However, I think that there are still many challenges.
Most politicians still follow the mantra of economic growth combined with strict immigration policies. However, the well-being of citizens depends on many factors. Although Germany has a very strong economy, the quality of jobs is decreasing, the education system is old-fashioned and many people, especially poor people with kids, cannot find affordable places to live. These circumstances can be found almost everywhere. Welfare states are getting ruined in order to make more profits.
Poverty has a female face
Although many women are better educated and have a job today, they often rely on the support of female family members and poor migrants. They cannot do a full-time job, care for their kids and do housework at the same time. Why are there still no solutions for this care gap? We need more women in politics who openly talk about this issue and find realistic solutions.
Women are still celebrated for their looks, instead of their brains. Unfortunately, many of them promote a fast fashion and fake beauty industry which uses toxic materials and exploits garment workers in the Third World. Many of these workers are poor women in living in Bangladesh and Indonesia. They have no better job opportunities. Solidarity between women should not end at the border. We need to think about the way we consume. We need to ask ourselves how and by whom our products are being made.
Born to kill?
Furthermore, there are still many conflicts and wars worldwide. The hyper war industry gets more advanced every year. A few days ago, the largest NATO exercise since the Cold War commemorated in Norway. In September, Russia’s largest military excercise since the Cold War took place as well. China joined it. The USA demands that all NATO members should increase their miliary budget. But why? Do we really need more weapons and killer robots? Isn’t it obvious that the amount of weapons and soldiers in the Middle East are not improving the situation over there? Many families suffer and many women became widows who cannot survive on their own. Together with their children, they have to live in underfunded refugee camps. In Yemen, people are facing the worst global humanitarian crises right now.
Unfortunately, my grandparents had to experience a war. Although my grandmothers were allowed to vote, they faced many other obstacles. After the war, they were not allowed to open a bank account, rent an apartment and work in certain occupations. No doubt, the world has changed. But there are still many challenges ahead of us.
In 100 years, people should look back and realize that they live in a better world than the one we live in today.