A social commentary on gender inequality is explored through the themes of culture, religion and customs.
Countries specifically China and India have a high percentage of male to female birth ratio as a result of sex discrimination. Girls are considered a burden, putting a toll on family expenses. In some parts in India, dowries are still given to the husband’s family by the bride’s family (despite the laws against). A boy will grow up to continue to bear the family name. Education will be first given to the boys in the family. Infanticide and abortions for girls were also common in some parts of China as to keep with the one child policy (effective from 1979 - 2015) and avoid paying a fine for having more than one child.
Girls need to be given the same importance, quality of education and resources as boys in order to reach their full potential. Continued discrimination towards girls is not only detrimental to women but society as a whole, as their immense contributions and impact will not be realized.
In this illustration, the broken pink balloons floating away represent the lost lives of girls who have been subject to infanticide or abortions because of sex discrimination at birth. One hand holds tightly on the string of a blue balloon which represents the "desired” sex.
No Where to Go
Up until June 2018, women were banned from driving in Saudi Arabia. Although there were no laws that said a woman could not drive, authorities often arrested women who are behind the wheel. Ironically at the time, women were allowed to own cars but were not able to drive them. They were refrained from driving as it was believed that a women would have too much freedom being able to travel further, and also increase the risk for encountering dangerous situations.
This illustration shows how absurd these circumstances were, with women sitting on top of the cars with no where to go as they were unable to sit inside of the car independently. This also comments on the idea of man sitting and commanding a horse, but here a woman sits on the car instead with no control.
In several religions, most notably Islam and Orthodox Judaism, Menstruating women are considered impure, whether it be physically or spiritually. She can not entire any temple, shrine or mosque. In Islam, during Ramadan she may not pray or fast, nor touch the Quran or even recite it’s contents. She is refrained from having any sexual intercourse during her menstruation. She must also complete a ritual washing before she becomes “clean” again.
Menstruation is a natural, physiological part of being a women. It is a blessing for one to menstruate as it signals one’s ability to conceive and create a new life. It should be celebrated and not to be shunned upon.
This illustration shows the organic beauty of menstruation and how it radiates and blooms from oneself. The discourse around menstruation shouldn’t be hushed and tucked away but be spoken about openly and comfortably. Only then can our collective perception of the menstruation be “normalized” and celebrated.