Why we keep our ability to dream…
| By Ghadeer Malek
As one leaves New York after the MDGs +10 Summit that took place from 20 to 22 of September, it is difficult not to wonder: have we become “comfortably numb”? Have we lost our ability to dream?
As a young feminist I am always eager to hear the stories of the women that struggled in the UN conferences in the nineties – especially from Rio 92 to Beijing – to ensure governments commitment to a broad-based development pact had gender equality and women’s rights concerns at its core. What they describe is usually a dynamic debate on what was needed to achieve a just world.
Justice continues to be key to our struggles and agendas.
As feminists we cannot want less than that in all its dimensions: gender, racial, class, social, environmental and social justice. We continue to claim the Beijing Platform for Actions and other key commitments of the nineties as key platforms to hold governments accountable for their responsibilities.
That is why when governments came up with a set of watered down development goals decided in a nontransparent and undemocratic manner in the turn of the millennium, the majority of the movement said: “no, thanks, we did not work so hard before to give up now”. We are not diminishing our dreams just because governments decided they had committed too much more just and comprehensive goals than they are willing to fulfill. We will continue to dream and struggle for a world that goes beyond the numbness and sense of fatalism that the neoliberal agenda tattooed in people’s soul. We are used to walking with scars and recovering as phoenixes.
No cynicism shall determine our lens to the world. We will be stubborn and hopelessly believers in a just world.
I say “we” with no sort of identity crisis.
I was not physically there in the nineties, but somewhere in the northeast of Brazil not even being able to imagine where my ability to dream would get me, as I became an adult. But that is exactly what it means to have a sense of belonging to a movement: being able to claim the struggles that anteceded us as our own, being thankful to the feminists that fought struggles that allow us to do and dream more and being committed to engaging in struggles that will make another young feminist who might be reading me right now somewhere in the world wonder how far can WE get!