• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

Gender Equality: Approaching UN International Human Rights Day, Part 4

Updated: Dec 10, 2020


UN SDG #5 – Gender Equality


At ESD Global Self-Defense, we believe that in order to truly change the imbalances of power, we need to educate people of all genders.


We need to challenge gender norms and stereotypes.


We need to see representation of all genders in all walks of life, especially in the government.


We need to hear women’s voices, more often, and louder, and without interruption.


We need to hear women’s voices, more often, and louder, and without interruption.

We need to remove the stigma, especially when it comes to boys and men, of coming forward as survivors. We know that the shame for perpetrating violence is on the perpetrator. We need that to be loud and clear.


We need to see examples of consent, boundary setting, and boundary respecting in the media. Yes. On TV, in books, in movies, and most importantly, online.


So how does this translate into Empowerment Self Defense?



For decades, the women at the forefront of the ESD movement have proudly stood behind the belief that having a woman teach women and girls is the best formula.


Why?


Well, it is wonderful when well-meaning men want to help us learn how to protect ourselves, but there is a special flavoring in seeing an empowered woman stand in front of a group and saying, “I know you can do this.”


There is a special flavoring in seeing an empowered woman stand in front of a group and saying, “I know you can do this.”

It is more than seeing a woman who has dedicated herself to a martial art, which is fantastic. And it is more than seeing someone who has dedicated their lives to teaching Empowerment Self Defense, which is also fantastic.


It is the special flavor of, “Yes, I know what it feels like to be a girl. I know what it feels like to not be taken seriously. I know what it feels like to fight through the jungle to get where I have gotten to. I know what it feels like.”


And that is why we train people to teach in their communities. Because they bring the special flavor of, “Yes, I know what it feels like.”


And that is why we train people to teach in their communities. Because they bring the special flavor of, “Yes, I know what it feels like.”

What does this have to do with Gender Equality? To start with, it is all about role-modeling.


We believe that coed classes should be taught by a woman and a man together, as equals. And so we train women and men to work together, united by the belief that all children deserve the skills and knowledge to keep themselves as safe as possible.


And today, when we train men to teach men and boys, we teach them to bring their whole selves into the classroom. The strong and the vulnerable. The acknowledgment of privilege and the commitment to level the playing field so that all members of society can live safe and empowered lives.


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