Gaining the vote, the right to run for elections, the right to work, the right to own property, and the right to education. All these rights have been achieved through feminism for women to finally be able to enjoy. However, feminism still has a very long way to go until the societal equality between men and women is achieved. Women across the globe still suffer from a lack reproductive rights, unequal pay, workplace discrimination, sexual violence, the list goes on. These are things women across the globe have to fight for each and every day.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a reminder of our societal achievements and what we still have to work towards. Every year, the 8th March is a day of celebration and recognition of women in the past and present. This day is so incredibly special in the notion it brings governments, organisations, and charities as well as everyone in society together to collectively rally and march about feminist achievements and what we still have to work towards.
The last time I was able to properly celebrate IWD was in 2019. On this day, some of my closest friends and I travelled through to Edinburgh and celebrated how we are women, our strengths, and the movement we are a part of. Only one thing was bringing us together that day, feminism. I asked some of my friends who were with me about how they found the day, where Bryony Spooner said “It was social, it was empowering, it was important. I think it’s important to show face like “I’m here, I’m active, I consider myself a feminist”. It’s like showing up and showing you are actively supporting this notion”. I couldn’t agree more. It was a day filled with liberation and love, not an ounce of negativity in the air.
Our day began with sitting in a restaurant giggling and catching up on life, our achievements, random stories, feminist discussions, and more. This progressed to more celebrations in a pub and finally we ended our day marching in protest of the many female inequalities still present to this day. The main chant being “MY BODY, MY CHOICE”. When asked how important IWD is, Jennifer Spooner said “I think it is very important and essential because it allows us, for one day, to look at how the patriarchy continuously affects the flow of everyday life without us realising. We use this day to take a step back and have a look at the ways in which women play such an integrable role in the world”.
This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias. The theme revolves around the importance of recognising that societies are still filled with close-minded, prejudice views which need to be challenged every day. This year’s theme acknowledges that bias makes it difficult for women to keep moving forward and receive equal opportunities as men. The International Women’s Day website recognises “action is needed to level the playing field”. This IWD, we recognise the bias in our communities, the workplace, in schools, colleges, and universities and we challenge the stereotypes which are perceived to be a woman.
IWD is a day where we recognise what we need to change for women from all over the world. It is a day which brings together women from different backgrounds, recognises everyone’s hardships and what can be done to create change. March 8th is a day to raise awareness of Womens' position in society while promoting our rights and achievements. Even out with this day, we will continue to embrace and campaign for social justice for women through positively influencing culture along with laws and legislation. In doing so, we will become one step closer to a safe, equal, and prosperous society.
Happy International Women’s Day!