by Shanice Miranda, Cora Health.
There’s no denying it- It’s a man’s world. With the progression of capitalism, women have been pushed into the background where the pressures of being a woman are daunting. With the expectation to raise kids, hold up the entire family and create a life for themselves, women should be hailed as superheroes. Instead, they are met with a wage-gap, stresses of harassment and constantly being put in a box of ‘The perfect- wife, daughter or sister’. Women are so much more than what society dictates and we should be celebrated as such.
What is International Women’s Day?
This special day holds great significance not just for women but for the progression of peace amongst all of humanity. It is a day to bridge the gap of inequality based on sex just a little more and in whatever way necessary. It is a day that transcends time and country, founded by the strong women in history who insisted on their rights. Some of these rights included education, cultural, social and political rights. This annual movement is vital as there is still much work to be done to confront the patriarchy. Let us learn from some of the significant female role models from our past:
The Fight For Equality In History
This powerful movement started way back in 1848 when hundreds of women assembled to form the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions. This document protested their civil, social, political and religious rights. Following in their footsteps in 1908, 15,000 women demanded better pay, shorter hours and the right to vote. They marched through the streets of New York against the forces of oppression. A year later, February 28th became National Women’s Day as decided by the Socialist Party of America. This continued till 1913. In 1910, a Russian woman named Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of an International Day and it was officially celebrated for the first time on March 19th of 1911, where over a million women insisted on the right to hold public office and be trained. This was the start to the end of discrimination. Amidst World War I, Russian women part-took in this IWD on February 23rd, which equated to March 8th in the Western Calendar. This date was agreed to on an international scale and has remained unchanged. International Women’s Day was renowned by the United Nations in 1975.
When Is Women’s Day Celebrated, And Why?
International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th for numerous reasons including:
- Creating equal opportunities for women
- For the recognition of women’s achievements
- To raise awareness about the discrimination of women
- Supporting female-run businesses
- To ensure equal rights for women in all facets of life
Constructive Ways To Honour This Day:
If you want to contribute to the uplifting of women, you can do so in small ways that make a big difference. It starts by introspecting to question your role in the narrative against women- How have you helped? Have you unknowingly put someone down based on their gender? It is the sad reality that as much as men repress women, other women patronize this behaviour. Let us all take steps to reverse the years of damage that has been imprinted on our gender in these ways:
- Donate to charities that support female empowerment
- Use your reach to raise awareness- You can use social media to showcase different forms of art to accelerate the uplifting of women. You can even use the colors of International Women’s Day- namely Purple, Green and White.
- Have conversations with your friends and family about the importance of advocating gender parity. It may be difficult for a lot of us since there are some deeply ingrained ideas in various cultures when it comes to how a woman must conduct herself. That is exactly why having open discussions to accelerate change is significant.
- Treat everyone equally- Feminism has gotten twisted into an agenda against men, which is completely counterproductive. There is truth in the notion that men and women are different in some ways, but that does not mean that they are not capable of achieving all the same things. Feminism focuses on equal opportunities and that starts by seeing and treating everyone as the same.
Women are champions and in recent years, we have seen just how much we are capable of in all aspects of society. Join in the race against discrimination and let us flip history over to create a new, beautiful world- Happy Women’s Day to all my female warriors out there!