OGIP blog 14th May 2021
Gender inequality and unfair stereotypes against women remains a global issue. Women are often underrepresented in political and leadership positions, have lower-paying jobs, and are significantly disadvantaged in accessing financial and property ownership. In my spoken-word poem, I lay out the predominant issues women face in various aspects of life, including access to equal employment and workplace opportunities. I explore the fundamental aspects of gender discrimination, with messages such as “increased inequality of access and subjected to subjection and exclusion” to offer an insight into the persisting lack of representation of women in communities and society. In reality women are still expected to conform to socially-constructed roles that society deem appropriate, so it was important to address these common themes in the poem.
Knowing that gender equality is a cornerstone of inclusive growth, it is important to continuously empower women especially during the challenging times we find ourselves in. Women have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 because of existing inequalities that they often face. For example, research claims that the pandemic led to massive job losses, loss of livelihoods and wage gap, particularly for women.
OGIP foresees “a future where the voices and needs of young people, in particular young women, are centered in peace and security spaces.” Understanding that OGIP advocates for gender equality across the world, this piece explores the need for social change.
As the world transitions into the new normal, this poem speaks up for women and the need to generate transformative ideas that will rebuild a more inclusive society that embraces equality for all. Speaking up about the underrepresentation of women in decision-making spaces is an important part of this poem and something that needs to change as we try to recover from the pandemic. Change is possible if we continue to give better visibility to female voices and highlight the challenges that women face around the world and speak truth to power, and undoubtedly poetry helps to do just that. Poetry is a powerful tool that gives voice to deep-rooted societal norms that have long been embraced, and it is necessary to use this form of art to give a big voice to gender equality. In this ever-changing world, together we can work toward a world where insecurity, discrimination, restrictions to freedom, violence and harassment towards women is no longer a thing of concern for women. It is important to highlight how we can build a more peaceful world that empowers women and girls, especially as we work toward achieving gender equality and strengthening our communities.
Tosin Ajogbeje is a public relations expert and award-winning spoken word artist who enjoys contributing to community ventures, creating spoken word video content, and blogging about pertinent societal issues. She holds a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University, a BA in Finance & Economics from Algoma University, and a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Niagara College. When she is not slamming at poetry events, she joins friends in a game of soccer, cools off at the gym and volunteers wherever she can.
Tosin is a recent published author of a spoken word style-book, Falling is a Gift, and continues to highlight social justice topics, self-help proficiencies and contemporary societal norms in her artwork. She was recently awarded an Honorable Mention for Outstanding International Entry for the ideal female by a leading spoken word publisher—Button Poetry. She has received rave reviews for her spoken word poetry work in the St. Catharines Standard newspaper and Dalhousie University’s alumni online platform. To stay tuned to Tosin’s upcoming spoken word projects and new books, check her out on instagram below.
Follow Tosin on Instagram: @tosin_tajo