I have always said that there are 3 things I don’t discuss amongst
strangers or family and friends: money, politics, and religion. I don’t
like controversy, or hurt feelings, or truthfully any kind of heated
discourse. It is not because I don’t stand for something. Trust me, that is
far from the truth. I’ve just never been a fan of argument or antagonism.
It gives me an icky feeling in my gut. But what I do appreciate is a
discussion that can spark positive advocacy, awareness, and most
importantly respect for differing opinions. So shedding some light on the
topic of women’s rights can and should be something we should all be open
to — male or female, young or old. It has and always will be a part of the
world we live in, as it should be.
I recently read an article in the Washington Post about proposed new
divorce laws that may take place in Italy. I also read an article about the
2018 elections in Brazil. I know…you may be thinking, why should we care
about what might happen in another country? Or, perhaps you come from the
train of thought that we have our own issues here in our very own country.
So, let’s fix our own problems before worrying about anyone else’s.
So why do I care and why should you? Because we don’t live in a bubble. We
cannot ignore what is happening in other parts of the world because we are
ONE WORLD. And most importantly, because these articles I mentioned are
about WOMEN. That is why I care and so should you. They are not about
politics or about marriage/divorce.
Proposed changes in Italy’s divorce laws are meant to promote “perfect
co-parenting.” What does that even mean? In theory, it sounds great right?
Well, what the law could entail is putting an end to child support and
making custody a 50/50 split. So, again, in theory women become equal
stakeholders in their child’s well-being. The article in the Post does
mention both sides – that this new law could result in increased poverty
rates among divorced mothers who may struggle with finding employment OR
that women will be empowered to take an equal role financially and
emotionally by providing what the child needs while in her care and by not
slandering her ex as is unfortunately the case in many divorced families.
But what this also means is that the father will take equal responsibility
financially and emotionally.
Now I’m not stating that this isn’t possible. I am a mom of 3 and happily
married to my spouse. I believe we are equal. I don’t work full-time
outside of the house. But I do work full-time and then some within our home
caring for our children and managing our household. I also don’t compare
how much he or I contribute financially or emotionally.
My hope in making myself aware of our rights as women whether it is in
Italy, Brazil, Asia or the United States is this: we need to be open to
discussion. We need to be open to POSITIVE discourse. There are 2 sides to
every story, to every proposed legislative change, and to everything that
happens within a family. While we cannot completely avoid arguments or
worse riots and protests, we can control our own emotions and awareness of
what is happening to the WORLD OF WOMEN. Let’s lead by example for future
generations and be aware. Let’s open our minds to change. Let’s be
accountable and hold ourselves and our partners accountable in making
women’s rights a part of all of our lives. –Sherry Milia