FREE TO BE

We live in a world where prejudices play a key role on a daily basis life. 
We look around, check who surrounds us and straight away get an idea of who we have got in front of us.

She’s got a hair right on her cheek’, ‘those shoes have a scratch and they look old’. 
First details we notice, first impression is the one that counts the most.

It’s certain that human beings can’t control their inner thoughts, our brain works in mysterious ways but also allow us to have emotions. 
And my question goes right in this direction: if we do have a muscle that through its nervous system consent people to have ideas and feelings, why do we not focus on others ones? 

Why do we limit ourselves in labelling strangers? 
Is it something we can not control?

In first place let’s talk about women, who have been feeling labelled for ages. Firstly as ‘housekeepers’, ‘childcarers’ and nowadays labelled for their outfits, for their belief or for their sexual orientation. 
And I want to speak out for those women who already are working hard on understanding their inner tastes and preferences and often feel the pressure from the society they are surrounded by. 

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It is a sad but current truth that in 2021 a GAP between men and women still exists. 

According to the UK Government, who published a report of the ongoing gap wage that clearly shows an equalization is far away to be reached, not yet nowadays.

‘The 2020 mean gender pay gap (the difference between men’s and women’s average hourly pay) is 6.5% and the median gender pay gap is 15.9%. In monetary terms, the mean hourly difference in ordinary pay is £1.65 and the median hourly difference is £4.04.’ 

Report from ‘Human rights education projects’ 

The general non-discrimination clauses of each Covenant are complemented by provisions prohibiting discrimination on specific grounds. For example, Article 7(a)(i) ICESCR guarantees equal conditions of work between men and women and requires equal remuneration for work of equal value; Article 7(c) ICESCR guarantees equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his/her employment 

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2020 has been a significant year for Women’s human rights as it marks the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and 25 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. 

Throughout these anniversaries women have been fighting for their rights constantly, never giving up and spreading the movement around the whole globe, implementing their rights and to advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are at their half way point.  

On 18 December 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, two years after it entered into force and in 10 years almost one hundred nations have agreed to be determined by its provisions and in 2020 with 189 states parties. 

‘The Convention was the culmination of more than thirty years of work by the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a body established in 1946 to monitor the situation of women and to promote women’s rights. The Commission’s work has been instrumental in bringing to light all the areas in which women are denied equality with men’, UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS. 

The Women Convention has been identified as “the definitive international legal instrument requiring respect for and observance of the human rights of women.´´  CEDAW’s purpose is to eliminate any type of discrimination based on sex and gender by any person, organisation or enterprise , including discriminatory stereotypes. 

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Fighting for people’s rights is a principle that should be kept in mind everyday, no matter our sexual orientation, our freedom to express ourselves the way we feel has to go over any kind of prejudice or idea. 
Thankfully we live in a part of the hemisphere where episodes of discrimination are slowly disappearing, but still present; there are still parts on the world where women have not the right to be considered or express their own thoughts, it is hard to believe but reality is different. 

Living in a metropolis such as London gave me the opportunity to better discover myself and understanding the society I am surrounded by, and I am glad to be part of a community where freedom of expression plays a key role to the majority of the citizens of this city. 


June has been marked as Pride month, for which the MPs Zarah Sultana insists to stand still and keep fighting for LGBTQs rights and transgender community included.

WHO IS ZARAH SULTANA?
Zarah Sultana is a Member of the Parliament, Labour Party, 27 years old, activist for women rights.
Student of International Relations and Economics at the University of Birmingham, joining the Labour Party in 2011.

Let’s meet Alba today, a young spanish lady who will walk us through her personal sexual orientation and how she discover it.

Here’s another story, Marta, 23 years old lady who moved to London at the age of 20 and who would share her sexual orientation.
QUESTIONS:
-When did you find out about your sexual orientation?
-How do you feel being bisexual? does this cause trouble within your friends relationships?
-Do you have support from your family?

2020-2021 have certainly been two unforgettable years; looking at an England’s point of view, it meant so far Lockdown and a final release, where people got reconnected to their relatives. 
During this hard and different period that we have gone through we have been facing changes.
Talking about our social life that had been stretched to its minimum, forbidding us to see known faces or even strangers ones, we all had to adapt to a new reality: the web-side of our lives, a way to keep the communication alive with the people close to us.
As this has been one of the only way for me to stay in contact with my friends, becoming a good user of technology during these months was part of my growth. 
As I have been discovering new sides of it so did people out there, subscribing to dating apps, even just for the sake of having a chat with someone. 
Dating Apps have been playing a key role in the past years but the rate of usage during the lockdown period has certainly increased.

The truth and probably I could add ‘the sad’ truth is that people have felt lonely and wanted to fill this void somehow with online chats, when having a coffee with a friend was not allowed. But my concern goes to the safety aspect of the unknown people you can meet online: how do women feel when talking to strangers? comfortable, safe? 
Texting, chatting over a laptop or a mobile phone can be interesting, because somehow you feel free to say things regardless their opinion as not knowing deeply that person can avoid barriers, and you’ll feel more free to say what comes to your mind.
But getting to know someone through a screen can be not ideal, especially if you do create a confidential relationship just after a few chats took place.
Women tend to be softer and talk personally when they feel in the right comfortable zone and sometimes they get in trouble for this. 
My opinion is that you do not know entirely someone until you spend a reasonable time together, physical time. 
I understand that in some way it is easier to express yourself through written words rather than spoken. 
Avoiding physical contacts is useful for those shy people who feel embarrassed when meeting someone, that’s a fact. 
But how much can you really know someone if the only way you have been communicating was firstly through a screen?
What do you think?


With the easing of lockdown restrictions many people are single and ready to mingle – some want to know a prospective date’s Covid vaccination status before they accept to meet new faces. -The UK Government has now teamed up with popular dating apps , on their campaign to encourage vaccine take-up to coincide with the rollout for the under-30s beginning this week. Tinder, Match, Hinge, Bumble, Badoo, Plenty of Fish, OurTime and Muzmatch have all signed up to the scheme.

Online daters will now be able to display a badge on their profiles and show if they have either been vaccinated against Covid or not, enjoying a series of benefits if they do so.

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