Sanchia's Story

It is embarrassing to admit that the concept of women’s rights is something that has only come onto my radar over this past year.

It started with a date where he would not take no for an answer. Under the fear of rape, I felt I had to along with it. The worst part is that he messaged me the next day to say he had a great time!

I had to explain to him what consent is, and he was shocked as he didn’t think he had done anything wrong. I was stunned that he wasn’t able to understand that no means no, and after sharing this story with a few friends, I found that we had all experienced nearly identical incidents.

I have an amazing group of beautiful and smart female friends, but throughout 2016 I have noticed that we have all endured so many experiences where have been treated poorly by men in our work and social life. We shared similar stories of being treated without value and respect, which ultimately affected our confidence and forced us to question our own actions and self-worth.

I started to feel strongly about the unfairness of it all, and as I researched I realized how far-reaching and widespread gender inequality truly is. I realized that I had to stand up for myself, my friends and bring awareness to women’s rights.

I love that ActionAid Australia is an organization about women and for women. I recently attended a Naomi Klein event hosted by ActionAid, which showed that typically male-dominated areas of science could just as easily be spoken about by a panel of smart women!

The event fell on the eve of the US election and despite the uncertainty, the auditorium buzzed with hope and enthusiasm, as we were all there to achieve the same goal. It gave me goosebumps to know that I was surrounded by people who believe so strongly in equality that they are ready to take action.

I would encourage everyone to join ActionAid because taking a few hours of your time to promote equality is a very powerful way to contribute to your community. Being surrounded by like-minded people is an amazing way to swap stories and ideas and feel excited about change

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