Why do we have a day to Celebrate Women? … Internationally even? We have religious days or weeks, race celebration months or weeks… and periodically a day for this, a day for that… Breast Cancer Day (October 25), Down syndrome Day (March 21), etc., etc… But why…. what do these days means… and why do we have them?
I have a very easy explanation for you… just one word even… “Awareness”
Why…? Because there are still unresolved issues–meaning there is still an “unsolved problem” that circles around like vultures waiting for their chance to strike. And until people take notice, and until those issues are solved… this and other days will remain.
With International Women’s Day — the point is to emphasize women are still not treated as equals, there is still need for change, and people should pay closer attention to the situation around them and the environment they create.
These issues that I’m talking about could be things like wages, job opportunities, domestic abuse/violence, sexual assault or harassment, the right for a woman to do what she wants with her body (who she will marry, tattoos, abortion, dyeing or cutting her hair, or even what sort of fashion she chooses to wear). I know these examples all fall on different levels… but men in today’s society (speaking from my knowledge of western culture) don’t have nearly the same restrictions as women. And tell me… why do you think that is?
But, for today’s, “Today in History” piece… I don’t think it is right to focus on just one person… even if I could find a woman to write about. And why can’t I pick just one person to praise? A) there are too many; B) it’s not fair on this particular day to just say this “one person” made the world a better place; C) just because the person could be a famous woman, it doesn’t mean she actually helped to advance women’s rights; or even D) no one is perfect and you can’t appease everyone with a praise to someone for something they did. Society needs a combined effort of males and females working together.
Take for example, Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, or the famous catholic nun (i.e. woman) better known as “Mother Theresa”. Many people like her, if not love her. And while she was a famous woman for being a great advocate of the poor, she really didn’t push for women’s rights. In fact, you could probably argue that she was a major hindrance against the advancement of women’s rights: she was a strong catholic, which meant “pro-life” (no abortion), “no contraception” (possibility of spreading STDs and unwanted pregnancies), and even against “divorce” (stuck in an emotional or physically abusive relationship). I wouldn’t want to praise her on International Women’s Day… would you?
So with today… all I ask is that you reflect on what today means to you, and what this day actually stands for. And then share your thoughts with me. Sound easy? Enlighten me.
(Photo from http://www.internationalwomensday.com)