Social Movements, globalization and gender

by Julia Helbing

When thinking about Social Movements and globalization, there are many points that come into my head.

First of all, I think that Social Movements are very important nowadays. They are easy to start; you can just use the internet or advertisements in the radio or in the TV to inform about what you are going to do. You can create an event on Facebook and invite all your friends, who will invite other friends or post it on Twitter and other social media. This way more and more people will hear and read about your movement and maybe want to participate or support you. I think that Flash Mobs are also some kind of Social Movements. People appoint at public places to a certain time and start doing all the same at the same day, e.g. start to dance or pillow fight. After the Flash Mob is over, everyone is leaving to a different direction. Normally, the people who come to Flash Mobs don’t know each other.

In my opinion, Social Movements can really change something. For example, after the catastrophe in Fukushima, there were many protests in Germany. Germany still runs a lot of nuclear plants and even has an atomic disposal zone, which is also used by other European countries. People were shocked about Fukushima’s nuclear disaster and didn’t want something like that to happen in Germany. Therefore, they activated advertisements and thousands of people started to protest. This was reported in the TV and attracted more protester. When the movement became bigger, the government hat to react. They changed the atomic energy law and shut down nuclear plants that already were kind of a risk. In addition, they promised to shut down all nuclear plants in the future and to develop the use of renewable energy. Of course affected this changes other European countries and they are also discussing about new energy laws.

Finally, I think globalization also helped the gender revolution. Women wanted to be treated equal with men, they also wanted to be able to go to work instead of taking care of the household all day long. They went out on the streets, started protesting and this was reported by the newspapers all over the world. It influenced other women to also think about what they can do to change something. The result is that now the equal treatment of women and men is part of the law in many developed countries. And even if it is not carried out in all countries, I think it started the way that people think about gender roles. In Germany, there are some fathers who stay home now and take care of the children or the household.

So even though globalization has many bad points, at the same time some things also changed to a better condition.

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