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The things we take for granted

Written by Clare Bishop-Sambrook, IFAD Gender team 

This year is the 20th anniversary of
the Fourth  World Conference on
Women
.
Last Friday, the Rome-based UN agencies celebrated International Women’s Day in IFAD. For me, the presentations threw into sharp relief the many aspects of our daily lives that we take for granted, yet would be a dream come true for millions of rural women.

Some of the things that came to mind were:

To have …. 

The right to own assets, including land
The self-confidence to make the right decisions for our families
Easy ‘turn the tap/switch the switch’ access to water and power/energy
An influential voice in decisions in the household, including what money should be spent on
Control over my body, including how many children I want to have
A fairer sharing of unpaid tasks among the members of my family

To be free from …. 

The threat of child marriage
Harmful traditional practices, including female genital mutilation
Verbal and physical abuse, violence and rape

To be able to …. 

Continue to learn and acquire new skills
Benefit from information and communication technologies for work and play
Feed all household members well, free from cultural norms
Get health care when I need it
Earn my own income and to decide when and how to spend it or save it
Move freely and safely outside the home without being judged
Spend time with my friends and family when I want to
Live my life to my full potential

Please feel free to add to this list in the comments section below.