International Women’s Day 2015: Make It Happen

Today is International Women’s Day.

A little girl I know has made a poster that reads:

Today is…

International Women’s Day! Go Women!

She drew pictures of girls around the words: one with a bun and glasses, one with curly hair, one with straight hair, and one with a head covering. It’s absolutely beautiful. ❤ But all she knows is that it’s awesome to have a special holiday all to herself, and that she will be carrying that sign around proudly the entire day. She doesn’t know about everything women have been through.

Violence against women is so prevalent, even in our “modern age”. One in three women will be abused in their lifetime. And the worst part about it is that this is accepted. Women are told to be quiet, to hold their tongues. (“Do you really want to cause someone to go to jail?” “Come on, you must have provoked him somehow for him to resort to that.”) And that’s not all. iwd_long

Women still do most of the world’s low-paid— or even un-paid— labour and work. In places such as Africa, women harvest and work the land yet own less than 2% of the land. Even in “first-world” countries such as the United States of America, the average white working woman is paid 78% of what a man with the same job earns; Hispanic or African-American women are paid even less.

In many countries, girls who have every right to a good education are being prevented from going to school and learning. This leads to much of the female population in some countries being uneducated and limiting their opportunities for a better life and supporting themselves economically, which in turn, leads to men and more privileged people judging them for their lacking education.

International Women’s Day, or IWD, is a day for awareness— awareness of the injustices women around the world are suffering, awareness of what must be done, and awareness of speaking out and rallying together in demonstrations, conferences, government activities, and social media campaigns. It is an official holiday in places such as Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. (But here’s the funny part— IWD is a legal holiday in many of the so-called “third-world” countries but not in “first-world” countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom. Yes, there is still sexism in these countries.)

So speak out. Don’t hold your tongue. Say what must be said, and as urged in this year’s International Women’s Day theme, Make It Happen. ❤

-Yasimone

(Here is the link to the International Women’s Day website.)

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