LGG highlights how women who travel have the ability to create change. Women are embracing freedom of movement on a scale previously unseen and a growing population of female travellers are willing to break down barriers and start questioning the status quo.
Women have the potential to create profound social change. We experience hardships that men cannot ever fully comprehend. These hardships stem from ingrained inequality between men and women, which socialises us into thinking that women are somehow less capable, less smart, less strong, less less less than men.
Until we challenge it.
And women who travel do just that.
Stereotypes don’t work for us. We know who we are and what we want. We are a force to be reckoned with dammit!
Travel opens up a world of possibilities for women. It is so very easy to live life according to the standards that you believe are ‘normal’. When you travel, you realise that many of these standards do not appear consistently across cultures and you begin to question the standards by which you live your own life.
You start questioning everything.
You question why people ask when you’re going to settle down.
You question why worry if you’re travelling without a male.
You question why people are concerned if you are still single in your twenties.
You question why people are horrified that you would travel without your partner.
It feels that there is an assumption that the culmination of your life experiences must inevitably be leading to marriage and babies.
But you, you start questioning why prevailing attitudes revolve around you following the expected life trajectory of school-work-marriage-babies-retirement.
It is simple though – people expect you to live life according to how they understand that life should be lived.
Realising this comes as a shock. It may very well incite a sort of rebellion within you. You get angry. You feel underestimated and then you question why you need to adhere to these standards at all.
The thing is, we have a choice as to how we life our live, but many of us do not realise that this choice exists. We are so heavily socialised into believing that life is a certain way that to break through the barriers that exist seems beyond comprehension.
As people say… “It is the way it is” without realising just how defeatist that statement really is.
Women who travel have the world opened up to them. They know that while things may be a certain way, they can choose for forge their own path and challenge the stereotypes. They can also choose to follow the more traditional life path. They recognise that there is nothing wrong with following either path, so long as it is a conscious choice by them, instead of FOR them.
It’s all about choice.
That is why International Women’s Day is so important. Giving women choices, opportunities, education and experiences that empower them is so crucial.
Many women across the world do not have a choice in how their life is lived. They are victims of their circumstances – where they are born, the societal rules by which they are bound, the political and social constraints that dictate their opportunities and worth. These things are determinative of how their live is lived.
Feminism is an ugly word to some, but the true idea behind the feminist movement is to value women in the same way that we value men – to determine their worth not by their sex, but by their personhood.
Women who travel learn this as they see women from all over the world, living all sorts of different lives.
We see women, some of whom are not given the freedoms we take for granted whilst travelling, some of whom without the benefit of a basic education, some whom viewed only as caretakers and some of whom deemed purely sexual objects and exploited for profit. The list goes on.
The point is that we see women subject to all forms of inequality and whilst it may break our heart, it is also eye-opening in that we realise the choice we have in how we live our own lives.
That is how women create social change. We challenge, we fight for our own, we refuse to back down in the face of adversity, we call out inequality and we demand opportunity.
See the world, create change in your own life and watch the impact it has on everything around you. The ripple effect is not to be underestimated.
Have you been inspired by someone you know travelling the world? Maybe a blogger? Tell us who inspires you so we can be inspired by them too!