In my previous blog I wrote about freedom and universal women’s rights with a focus on Holland. I was stunned when I studied the information about this issue on internet. Even I didn’t realize how few rights women (my mother) had before 1956 even though they were entitled to vote and to be elected since 1919. It surprised me even more that it took 37 years (1919-1956) before things really started to change for women and they got a lot more freedom. As a reminder only in 1956 a law has been adopted that has significantly improved women’s rights in Holland. Women did not have to ask permission to their husbands anymore when they wanted to go away and were entitled to do their own banking. Besides they didn’t have to quit their job anymore when they got married.
I have been pondering why women did’t grab the new power they got in 1919 and used their votes to change things for the better immediately. I can only guess but think society was not ready for this. The right mindset for this major change was not there at that moment. As I already mentioned in my previous blog, the church had a lot of influence and women who lived a ‘free life’ f.e. because they were not married, were considered non-respectable, also by women. Women were not encouraged to study because it was a waist of money ‘since they would not work anyway’. And ofcourse it was the duty of a married couple to get a lot of children.
I became more aware than before that it needs more than votingrights to guarantee quick changes in society. Family and tradition play a large role. There are for example many democracies where women may vote, but where they are not free nor protected.
I don’t understand traditions or interpretations of religions who just denie women the right to learn, to be (well) treated (in hospital), to have her own life etc. And it are not just men who are to blame but often also our mothers and sisters. It’s a big challenge for all those brave women and men who dare to not only challenge society but also their family. Often they are even banned from their family.
I am against violence against women, men and children. Therefore I wrote the song ‘I say no’. Inspired by a national fundraising in the context of domestic violence and the movie ‘The accused’.
Have a nice day