On Sunday March 8, many women united on the streets of Montréal to celebrate International Women’s Day, an annual holiday destined to remember all that women have endured in history, how much they have accomplished in the past decades, and to celebrate the improvements in equality that women live with today. This holiday has been observed since the beginning of the 1900’s and serves as an important reminder for the world to recognize women both in our communities and internationally.
While many improvements towards the equality of women have been recognized in Canada, such as the progress towards equal salaries between men and women, women marched on this internationally-celebrated holiday to bring light to a number of issues that still need to be worked on, such as “war, violence against women, and systems of oppression, all of which have a direct affect on the lives of women,” as written in the Montréal Gazette.
The issue of rape culture in society is one that is especially important, not only because of the safety concerns it brings to the table, but also because women who are victim to abuse are time and time again not heard by the public. This specific occurrence happens often on college and university campuses. The problem stems from the fact that when victims are brave enough to share the awful experience they have had, they are not listened to or are told they were “asking for it.” This in turn forces on women the unfathomable notion that they are guilty for being abused, as if it is their fault. This is a societal problem that needs to be changed for women to be truly viewed as equals and to feel safe in their communities.
While the women addressed many issues that still need to be worked on, they specifically marched on March 8 to protest against measures of austerity that have recently taken place in Canada. They believe that said measures will affect their lives in a significant way in the future. Austerity has a direct effect on the types of service that women come in contact with, “such as various centers for women, education, and healthcare,” according to the Montreal Gazette.
While there is still much work to be done towards true equality between men and women, it is always good to take a step back and and applaud women in society today for fighting for their rights all of these years and for making the improvements they have in our country.
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