When I took my first vote at the age of 18, in the Brexit referendum, I was quite emotional. Walking towards that booth, was like walking down a red carpet, on my shoulders weighed the thought of women’s suffragettes; and before I gave my vote, I silently thanked all the women who have made sacrifices of various degrees just so that I could exercise my right as a citizen. It was monumental but it is equally important to remember (as a 21st century baby) that rights that we often take into granted, were the fruits of sacrifices that our predecessors have made, often with their lives.
Ladies (and gents), we have come very far on the road we began in the late 1900s. I wish I have the time, words, or the space to list all the reasons to celebrate this International Women’s Day (IWD) with pride. Mainstream media still likes to remind us how far we have yet to go, and how we are more unequal than equal. But on a positive note ladies, we are far more equal than we have ever been.
Feminism is common terminology now, and it is often discussed in schools. In fact, to those born in the 21st century, it is very much foreign concept to be treated differently from boys. In majority of places around the world, it is no longer a taboo and is used with pride by men and women. Women around the globe have achieved momentous results in social, political, and economic context. And unless you want a heavy social media backlash, men, even if closet anti-feminist, won’t publicly remark to suggest otherwise; as one Member of European Parliament recently found out.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having one day of the year dedicated to commemorating the sacrifices, achievements and commitments women have made and continue to do so. In fact, we should pull all the stops and raise much awareness to it as possible. There’s issues that are yet unsolved and unheard from, sexual harassment, abortion rights, rape statistics, equal pay, sex trafficking; the list is simply endless.
So this celebration shouldn’t be boiled down to just one day of the year either (much like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day etc.). We should celebrate the political, economic, and social battles women have thus far fought for and continue the legacy of progression to equal status so that the next generation of women could nurture in a better world than the one we live in today.
Find out how the world celebrated this year’s IWD: