I'm Proud Be An American
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Politics and Activism

I'm Proud Be An American

Some rights seem so basic for us

4
I'm Proud Be An American

I am proud to be an American, and I'm even prouder to be a female in America.

Sometimes we (feminists) get caught up in the bad of America: "We can't do this, You said that," and we might forget how awesome it is to be an American; we forget how awesome America is. This Fourth of July, I not only want to remind us of the strides women have made in America, but also remind us of other countries that aren't quite as lucky as we are today.

Being aware is the first step in making a change.

1. We Can Vote!

New Zealand was the first country that gave women the right to vote in 1893 - this started the snowball rolling that gave more and more women the right to the same. America joined the movement in 1920 with the Nineteenth Amendment. Although it wasn't until 2011, when Saudi Arabia gave women the right, that women worldwide could vote. Saudi Arabian women participated in their first election in 2015. The only country left is Vatican City, but to be fair, all men don't have the right to vote either; only cardinals can vote in the city.

2. Just like men, we own property

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DCR), married men and women do not have equal property ownership rights.

3. Government doesn't restrict how many kids we can have

Although not near as strict as their previous One Child Policy, couple's in China must ask permission to have two children.

4. Or how few, abortion is an available option

In Honduras, it is illegal to get an abortion - no matter the circumstances. Despite the recent Zika outbreak, lawmakers have made no move adjust these laws. It has been advised for women to avoid pregnancy to light of Zika, the virus that can cause severe brain defects in unborn children; leaving no legal options for women who might've already been pregnant.

5. Open a bank account

Though Saudi Arabia has seen an increase in women starting their own businesses and even running in local elections, they still need a male guardian present to open.

6. Protection from domestic violence

Russia has no laws that specifically address domestic violence. There is no legislation that addresses financial, emotional, physical or even sexual abuse. America has legislation for all of the above except financial abuse.

7. Banned discrimination in hiring

In Italy it is perfectly legal to (not) hire someone based on gender.

8. Protection from harassment

In Nigeria, there are no laws to protect women from harassment. No laws address sexual harassment, harassment in education, in the workplace, in public places, nothing.

America has laws that specifically address sexual harassment. However, there are no criminal sanctions for sexual harassment or harassment at work. There is no legislation in public spaces, but we do have legislation for harassment at work and at educational facilities.

11. ACTUAL citizenship

In Iran, women do not confer citizenship the same way as men, regardless of marital status.

12. Education, a basic right

Malala Yousafzai, an advocate for girls' education in Pakistan was shot in the head because she spoke out against the Taliban, and for the basic right if education.


I am thankful every day that I am an American, not only because of the seemingly basic rights above, but for a genuine appreciation or our country and for the men and women who have fought in protest, legislation and even combat for the freedoms offered to ALL Americans. But every day is a battle somewhere.

My fourth of July was spent doing homework and being with my family and friends whom I adore. That same day was spent by a 12-year-old in Yemen with her husband three times her age, taking care of her child and the household.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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