We Talk Women in The Star

We Talk Women in The Star

Original article published here: Women made gains in 2012 but don’t declare victory just yet by Rosemary Speirs

Even less interested in the trials facing executive and professional women is 25-year-old Kavita Dogra, who like an increasing number of young Canadian women — new citizens or born here — comes from a culture (in her case India’s) where women face sexual violence, abuse and marginalization.

Sensitized by her own experience, she decided she could not sit by and created We Talk Women. Dogra blogs weekly on her website about what is happening to women in other countries, about trafficking, rape and genital mutilation. She talks about the things Canadians can do to help not just overseas but at home, because trafficking of girls and sexual abuse are common here, too.

“I’m not just a Canadian. I am a human being in a global world. It is not just about my rights: On a global scale we have to advocate for all girls and women.”

Kavita holds a full-time job at a large environmental organization, and a part-time job at the Royal Conservatory of Music, somehow juggling the blogging, editing and speechmaking that are just part of her volunteer role for We Talk Women.

She says the workload is bearable: What’s harder is trying to convince Canadian-born women not to turn away when the news is too awful — Pakistani schoolgirl activist shot in the head by the Taliban; young woman in India mutilated in an acid attack for standing up against male bullies.

“It is hard to persuade them not to back off, to be inspired to do something,” she says of her peers. “But my biggest job in We Talk Women is to break the illusion that these things don’t happen here.”

For women, 2012 was a year of mixed messages. Despite the hoopla about men failing and women triumphing, equality still eludes the female half of Canadians who mostly remain segregated in the lowest paying jobs and carry the burden of child-rearing.

Distraught over the humiliation and abuse suffered by women elsewhere; distanced from the power struggles at the top in their own country; younger Canadian women face a frantic future.

Theirs is the generation closest to surpassing men — adding responsibility for breadwinning to all the paid and unpaid work they already do.

 

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