International women’s day is a day dedicated to celebrating strong and empowering women of the past and present regardless of age, culture or ethnicity etc. It is also a continued reminder of how we as a society can make even the smallest dent in working towards equality.
Every year, a specific theme is dedicated to this day in relation to women’s rights around the world. This year it’s all about #PressForProgress, and with all the political movements including the #TimesUp and #MeToo campaigns and the uproar within the media this could not be more appropriately themed.
#PressForProgress reminds us that despite the achievements we have seen over the years, there is still a long way for us to go in terms of gender equality. The theme is to motivate and inspire others to come together and unite as communities to be more gender inclusive and fight for equal rights.
Personally, my ethnic background comes from a country where, to this day, women’s basic rights are still being fought for. Bangladesh’s cultural environment primarily involves gender discrimination, meaning girls and women face hardships and obstacles in regards to their development. Girls are often seen as financial burdens on their families, and from the time of birth, they receive less investment health, care, education and career wise. During the stage of puberty, girls freedom and sense of self is restricted, which limits their access to livelihood, learning and social activities. Adolescence is seen as an abrupt shift from childhood to adulthood and the differences in treatment of adolescent girls compared to boys becomes much more pronounced. The rates of child marriage and adolescent motherhood in Bangladesh is shocking, and the percentage is amongst the highest in the world. This is just a small example of how women are restricted and discriminated and I’m certain I could write about many more communities facing similar situations.
If just one woman’s right in the world is compromised, then we as humanity are not equal or free.
How can we make a difference this year? Use your voice, your platform to raise the questions about women’s rights. Engage using the hashtags on social media, this is your chance to get involved and make a difference. There are also tons of events going on around you and across the world so there’s bound to be someplace for you to join in! Now on 8th March and every other day, let’s power together.
“Individually, we’re one drop, but together we’re an ocean… Let’s all collaborate to accelerate gender parity, so our collective action powers equality worldwide.” A quote from the IWD website.
To find out more, head over to the official website at: internationalwomensday.com