After a hectic and frankly unforgettable 2020, we need to be incredibly grateful for everything we have now, including the women in our lives who make it just that little bit easier. This March 8, it’s International Women’s Day, so whether it is your mother, sister, girlfriend, grandmother, friend or even teacher, let them know how important they are.
On the International Women’s Day website, it highlights that the annual day is designed to look at the impact women have had with their successes and to continue to raise an understanding about support for women everywhere. International Women’s Day was established in the 1900’s as a way of honouring women all over the world and their accomplishments in politics, the economy and culture. Society is constantly shifting and evolving, with different voices being heard and new positions of authority being raised, so it’s integral that we respect and support these.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is ‘choose to challenge‘, which aims to shine a light on our actions as individuals and how we are accountable for them; we can and should battle against inequality towards women and use our voices and actions in life to do so.
Equality for women has always been something that I have been involved with. I love learning about new opportunities that have been made possible for women and in my opinion, International Women’s Day is so vital for reminding us of how far we have come in society. From the early 1900’s, when women won the right to vote, we have climbed to dizzying heights; Kamala Harris becoming the first female vice-president in the US 2020 election is just one example of a woman earning her position of power from hard work and determination.
Growing up in a society that is as everchanging as ours, I think I have grown to really appreciate opportunities that women get and strive towards. Over the past few years of leaving school and graduating university, seeing my female friends accomplish remarkable prospects, start new-found jobs (some amid a pandemic may I add!), all while managing their physical and mental health – it’s astounding. We should be applauding girls and women of all ages and backgrounds, helping each other and celebrating any accomplishments, big or small.
I remember two years ago I attended an art exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery called ‘Women Power Protest’ and it showcased a variety of different female artists and their work. It was extremely enlightening to see how all of these diverse experiences came together to form womanhood and it was really inspiring to see that women were being given a platform to showcase their talent. The exhibit resonated with me, and celebrated how work, motherhood and other challenges shape each woman all over the world.
Despite all of the positivity surrounding International Women’s Day, it has to be said that in some areas of society, women still struggle to have equality. There is still so much more that we can build on to improve equality for women. For example, according to the United Nations official website, as many as one in five women still face violence, whether physical or sexual, at the hands of a partner. It is so important to stand up for the women in your life who are battling any form of inequality, whether at home, work, the gym, the supermarket, anywhere. The more people that show their support, the better.
So what will I be doing for International Women’s Day this year? Of course, the obligatory task of ‘staying at home’, but there are several things I will still do to show my support. Personally, I don’t think an individual has to go out of their way to celebrate International Women’s Day. Something as simple as thanking the women in your life can have a huge impact. Supporting small female-owned businesses, contributing to charities that support women, listening to female artists, watching films directed by females (‘Hustlers’ is one of my favourites) – these are all small but effective ways that someone can show their support for women. Supporting women is supporting our future – equality is part of the future and we should be striving for it wherever we can.
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