Why feminism is needed more than ever, and how one woman´s dream is empowering others around the world
The F-word: divisive, controversial, and frequently misunderstood. But what does feminism actually mean, and why does a concept so crucial to girls and women often cause such negative reactions? To find out, I interviewed Maz Kessler, founder of Catapult. This inspirational crowd-funding site has a special focus on hot topics affecting females around the world- from FGM to child marriage, sexual abuse to trafficking, domestic violence to slavery.
SM: Reading comment threads on any article using the F-word, it´s clear that many people, including women, believe feminism is no longer relevant in the 21st century. Can you explain why that´s not the case, and give us your own definition for what feminism actually means?
“Nobody owns a definition, but for me it´s simple: feminism means the equal human rights of girls and women. For people under 30 today, feminism is not a key issue. When Germaine Greer ripped on to the scene in the 1970s, women couldn´t have a mortgage or a credit card; they couldn´t get abortions. Then there was this incredible surge of change and all these ridiculous laws fell away. Now, people think there are no problems because they see women graduate, they see women working. But the global issues we are now getting to- widespread violence against girls and women, female genital mutilation, slavery and trafficking, rape and sexual assault- these are more difficult to tackle because they are structural issues relating to culture and tradition, and laws can´t change attitudes. That´s why it´s so important to keep raising the issues that are devastating to girls and women all over the world.”