For myself and thousands of women, every day is International Women’s Day.
Every day, sometimes small things e.g. being stared at or wolf-whistled because you wore a beautiful dress you love and sometimes bigger things your colleague gets the promotion you deserve more than him but he apparently is ‘more confident’, remind women across the world why we need to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Why? Because although we achieved a lot compared to 100 years ago, there’s still so much more to fight for.
There are still women who are treated as objects, sold, abused, forced to get married from the tender age of 12, when they are still children, there are still women who are stoned or beaten to death because they dared to ‘look’ at another man, or even for being raped.
In more privileged societies such as the one I live in, we still have a lot to fight for too.
We are still considered ‘weak’ in a million different ways just because we are strong enough to show we have feelings and emotions and brave enough to be vulnerable, because we are all humans. But society still considers that a weakness. How sad.
We are still seen as ‘sluts’ instead of the male equivalent of ‘players’ if every now and then we need and want to satisfy our sexual needs.
It’s still incredibly uncomfortable for most men to listen to women talk about something natural like giving birth or their period but it’s OK for women to put up with sexist and racist jokes.
The majority of CEOS, pilots, comedians, police officers, doctors and so many other occupations it’s still men. Yes, we made progress but even in our day and age there’s blunt and obvious discrimination against women.
Also, women are still in most societies, expected to give birth and look after their children and if they chose not to do so, not compromise, ‘there’s something wrong with them’.
We are made to feel inadequate if we don’t look ‘pretty’ and are forced to work on our ‘imperfections’ but if we make an effort we are too ‘girly’ and ‘soft’. For men appearance doesn’t even affect their career prospects or their life in general.
I won’t even mention equal pay. There’s A LOT of work to be done there too.
Why is this still happening? Well, mostly because of society. We still live in a male-dominated society that teach us since we are young that we are not as strong or capable and for women to follow their dreams they have to fight harder and ignore all the abuse and discrimination thrown in their path.
We have to fight harder to get that promotion, to earn more money, to be seen as capable as men and to achieve that we have to first be considered ‘crazy’ and ‘wild’. We have to break the barriers if we want to see significant change and we have to try a hundred times harder than a man. That’s the sad reality.
When the first suffragettes protested and demanded the right to vote, they were ridiculed and arrested. They were ‘insane’, how dare they demand equal political rights? And this is only one example.
Being a feminist is not about not shaving or not letting a man help you your groceries, or being seemed as equal to men. We are not equal, we are different. But is about being offered equal opportunities and equally represented in conferences, festivals, courts, the Parliament.
So here’s to all women, famous and not famous who changed the world.
To all women who fight against discrimination every single day, to every day heroes, our mums, grandmothers, sisters, friends, colleagues, to us. We are awesome.
Please don’t give up the fight, even when society deems you ‘crazy’ or ‘too emotional’ or ‘not confident enough’, keep going, that’s how we’ll change this.
Happy International Women’s Day.
PS I’m not on my period. I’m just passionate about this.