WOMEN OF WESTERN: #WhatIReallyReallyWant
While the Spice Girls may not be reuniting anytime soon, their hit song, Wannabe, recently received an upgrade. Tuesday, July 5, 2016 marked the 20 year anniversary of the release of their debut song and the day the new version of the video was released by Project Everyone and The Global Goals.
The video, released in theaters on Friday, July 22, features dozens of girls and women dancing through a variety of places around the world, while showing messages advocating for women’s equality. Such messages include “Equal Pay For Equal Work,” “End Violence Against Girls” and “Quality Education For All Girls.”
Shortly after the video was released on the Global Goals website, it went viral. From there, the hashtag #WhatIReallyReallyWant started trending worldwide, resulting in several Twitter users expressing their wishes for gender equality across the globe.
Yesterday the video went viral… today the movement begins
— The Global Goals (@TheGlobalGoals) July 6, 2016
#WhatIReallyReallyWant Dignity for African girls. No child brides, abuse or GFM. Sanitary towels. Education. Equal opportunity. Mostly love.
— Nomzamo Khumalo (@KhumaloNomzamo) July 10, 2016
— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) July 5, 2016
The campaign calls on women to speak out against inequality, in hopes that their collective voice will help send a message to the United Nations about putting girls and women first in their plans for fixing poverty, climate change and a vast array of inequalities facing girls around the world.
Global Goals is asking people to take photos of themselves holding signs of what they really, really want, or of them using the hashtag to further spread the message before the UN meets in September to discuss these issues. Their website has links to specific issues facing women across the world and what people can do to help end inequality between genders.
Even some of the Spice Girls showed their support for the campaign on Twitter.
— Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) July 5, 2016
— Melanie C (@MelanieCmusic) July 5, 2016
For many here at Western, the topic of gender equality is one of great significance. Members of our campus community have shown time and time again how important gender equality is, on and off campus. For example, Student Outreach Services regularly puts on events such as The Women of Color Empowerment Dinner, which has been held for 18 years.
Men in Washington state earn an average of $54,358 annually, while women earn $41,926, according to the American Association of University Women. This means women in Washington make 77 percent less than their male counterparts, slightly less than the national average of women earning 79 percent of their male colleagues.
While the pay gap has been an issue in America for years, steps are being taken to ensure a more equal playing field in the future. According to the AAUW, Washington is one of four states with equal pay bills in the early stages of legislation. If passed, Washington will join eight other states with equal pay measures already in place.
With equal pay being just one part of the focus on women’s issues, there are more steps needed to be taken before the genders are treated equally.
The Wannabe parody brings awareness to the problems facing women around the world and here in our own backyards. As more people start to become aware of the inequalities women face, more measures may be taken to ensure complete fairness and equality in the future.