Feminism- What does it mean?

Feminism today can mean different things to different people. Feminism is a broad term and a person’s feminist values can develop and change over time. Feminism is defined simply as:

1.     The belief that women are equal to men and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

2.     Men and women who hold the belief that women and men deserve equal rights without exception.

3.     A commitment to work towards a world where women and girls are treated better than they are now.

What does Feminism mean at the WASH House?

We believe that all women should have the right to make choices about all aspects of their lives. This includes:

  • Health and Wellbeing, including access to contraception and abortion

  • Sexuality and Relationships including whether or not they will get married or have children

  • Career and Education including equal pay for equal work across all industries

  • Dress and Appearance including what clothes they wear,  whether or not they wear makeup or high heels, wax body hair, or let their hair go grey

  • Participation in public and political life including having the right to vote and stand for political office and to freely and safely go anywhere they choose.

We believe Feminism must be inclusive and representative of all women and girls, regardless of:

  • Cultural background

  • Religion

  • Age

  • Sexuality

  • Gender history

  • Lived experience of disability

  • Financial situation

  • Level of education

We believe that gender inequality and sex discrimination are drivers of violence against women. 

We believe that social, historical and cultural structure, norms, attitudes and beliefs impact on women and girls and their right to make choices in their lives. 

We believe feminism benefits men as well as women.

The Myths of Feminism

  • Feminists are angry man-haters

  • Feminism is only for white women

  • Feminists can’t be religious

  • Feminists are all lesbians

  • There’s only one way to be feminist

  • Men can’t be feminists

Here at the WASH House we reject all these myths about feminism. This is not what feminism means to us, and it is not how we work. We believe in engaging everyone in feminism because we believe that feminism benefits everyone.