Women everywhere continue to experience discrimination in everyday life: in institutions, the private sector, religious organizations, families, schools, health systems, and justice systems. Gender bias is everywhere.
The stereotypes that women face are powerful and make every aspect of their lives difficult. This is a consequence of a patriarchal system that abuses power in all ways from hiring decisions to sexual abuse. Discrimination can be subtle or overt, conscious or unconscious, and can be upheld by both men and women.
In our webinar series, Making-Visible: Women, we will focus on the need to empower women the inequalities and injustices of gender bias.
Our first webinar will be led by two wonderful women, Yasmin Behbehani and Hedyeh Esfahanian.
Yasmin and Hedyeh are daughter and mother who have become activists in women issues starting with the fight against a common and unacceptable occurrence.
It started with a list that was circulating at Bethesda Chevy Chase High school that ranked female students by their appearance. The list was created and circulated via text by some of their male classmates.
Yasmin was one of the Senior girls included and ranked on the list. She didn't want to see it as she had spent the last four years fighting with her own personal struggles and she wanted to avoid comparing herself to others at all costs.
This brave girl, along with other fearless young women, decided to speak up and tell the school authorities and the male classmates involved how their actions were completely unacceptable, especially in the era of the #MeToo movement.
Yasmin, like all the other girls who decided to speak up, was supported by her mother. Most of their mothers had experienced things like this list and other effect of toxic masculinity. This support was especially felt by Yasmin, her mother was there by her side always, giving her support, love and understanding.
This incident has opened for Yasmin, her peers, her mother and the Bethesda Chevy Chase High school community a conversation surrounding the self-esteem, self-worth and mutual respect between genders.
Yasmin shares her thoughts:
“I am a student activist who has stood up against misogynistic acts in my school, as well as the creator of the ‘Lets Talk’ presentations to make underclassman aware of mutual respect between men and women. In addition, I have been recovering from an eating disorder for four years and have seen the affects of the toxic culture surrounding body image and unrealistic standards set for women in this country.”
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These two women will share this experience with us, including how their experience at that time connects with their lives today, and their past and future. They are here to inspire us and continue the fight for gender equality and respect in our world today.
Please join us as we bring light to this much-needed conversation and learn about ways to change the gender inequality that is affecting us all.
We hope to see you there.
Annie and Adriana
More on Yasmin and Hedyeh
Yasmin Behbehani is a student activist and advocate against toxic masculinity. As a high school senior, she spoke up against a ‘list’ created at her school that only spoke to the misogyny and degradation girls face every day. In conjunction with her advocacy, she has also opened up about her struggles with her eating disorder that has opened conversations surrounding the self-esteem, self - worth as well as mutual respect between genders. She has been featured in articles in the Washington Post, Business Insider, Baltimore Sun and Teen Vogue. She has also been interviewed by ABC News, Good Morning America, CBS News and CNN.
Hedyeh Esfahanian is a mother, activist and advocate for mental health. As a mother of two teenage daughters, she has witnessed the contributing factors that have created a toxic climate for the teenagers of today. Hedyeh has done extensive research on vulnerability, self - esteem and mental health diseases that are rooted in her personal experiences as well as her passion to help others.
All Making-Visible webinars are curated
by Adriana Arizpe and Annie Mahon.