I am Generation Equality: Lauralyn, marketing communications specialist and advocate for social causesBillions of people across the world stand on the right side of history every day. They speak up, take a stand, mobilize, and take big and small actions to advance women’s rights. This is Generation Equality.
I am Generation Equality because…
Three actions you can take to help prevent violence against women and girls:
- Be responsible in consuming and spreading information on social media
- Avoid language that reinforces patriarchal ways of thinking
- Speak up when you witness sexist talk and behaviour.
“A string of workplace and sexual harassment experiences led to me making a police report. The last experience left me feeling broken, traumatized, institutionally betrayed, and eventually, angry.
I was fortunate enough to have a friend who was a part of the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality. She made sure I had the right resources to start my recovery. The knowledge she shared with me made me realize that there was not enough awareness and education for such a widespread problem.
Given that I am active on social media and have helped businesses with their marketing communications, I felt a strong need to use my skills more meaningfully. I started looking for causes that needed to communicate their messages more effectively, which led me to volunteer my time at the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Malaysia.
Social media became a medium for me to reach as many people as possible to prevent others from going through what I did, or worse. I also use it to let survivors know that they are not alone, by sharing my stories.
Use social media responsibly
“Stop reinforcing patriarchal thinking .”
The Internet has given us access to a lot of information and misinformation.
Many people are not aware of their influence when they share content online.
Be wary of the content you consume online.
Find reputable sources, and don't rely on only one source of information, like social media or movies, especially when they romanticize sexual violence.
Stop old ways of thinking
Stop reinforcing patriarchal thinking – this goes for men, boys, women, and girls.
The simplest way you can start doing so is with your use your words. Instead of saying, ‘she was raped’, say ‘he raped her’. Instead of saying, ‘protect your daughter’, say ‘educate your son’.
Men must unlearn, step up
Men need to learn how patriarchal thinking can cause violence against women and girls.
Men should unlearn toxic beliefs and behaviours and normalize sharing emotions, rather than aggression and violence. They can be allies for women. Confront other men when they make sexist or misogynistic remarks, sexually harass someone, ‘mansplain’, and engage in other inappropriate behaviour”.
Lauralyn, 33, is Filipino and lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She advocates for social causes when she is not selling event and digital marketing solutions to academic institutions and event organizers worldwide. Lauralyn is a participant in the Generation Equality Design Challenge, organized by UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and World Design Organization. Lauralyn prefers to be addressed without a paternal surname as she does not want her identity to be associated with patriarchal traditions.