Feminist Fight Club: International Women’s Month

Feminist+Fight+Club%3A+International+Women%27s+Month

graphic by Yasmin Haq

This year’s theme for International Women’s Month was “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.”  Despite some progress, the growth toward equality has been agonizingly slow for the majority of women. It’s crazy that not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality, and it’s been exactly one century since women have been given rights in the U.S. 

Obstacles such as laws and cultural views remain unchanged, leaving women undervalued, working harder for less, having fewer choices and experiencing multiple forms of violence in homes and public spaces. Having been granted “rights” since 1920 in the U.S., there’s still a gap that needs to be closed before we can say women are equal. 

This year’s theme was chosen to match the Generation Equality campaign started by United Nations Women. They want to unite women to end gender-based violence, achieve economic justice, gain rights for sexual and reproductive health and have more women in leadership roles. However, I think the most important part is to get more women to step up and lead in their communities. Having women from all around the world stand up for themselves and lead their communities would be more impactful than someone from another country directing the changes. This would also inspire other women and girls to speak up in their own communities and position themselves to become leaders of the next generation.

As the world moves towards a kinder and more equal future, there’s still so much to be done. Women are still underrepresented largely in politics, entertainment, and workplaces. In fact:

  • Women earn 23% less than men globally.
  • Women occupy only 24% of parliamentary seats worldwide.
  • one in three has experienced physical or sexual violence.

(Statistics provided by UN Women)

Although this month is used to spread awareness, it’s also a way to recognize those women, famous or ordinary, who have shown acts of courage and determination. In fact, this whole month gives us an excuse to learn more about the achievements and sacrifices they have made, and what we can do to contribute. 

However, one question still remains: how many generations will it take until women and girls around the world realize their rights?