Women are amazing. We have worked so hard to get to where we are today.
We’ve seen a significant growth in women’s rights initiatives,and are continuously working to improve education and end childhood marriages. There are women in congress, science, physics, and other traditionally male-dominated jobs and fields.
To get here, people fought, and their stories are inspiring. To highlight a few close to home, we can think of Rupi Kaur, a University of Waterloo grad, who told her story through the popular Milk and Honey collection of poems. Virginia Woolf wrote to show the world why it’s harder to make a name and a living as a woman. And Waterloo’s very own Donna Strickland was the first woman in 55 years to win the Nobel Prize in Physics, after Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963. To get here, Suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony fought for the women’s rights that we have today. Even University of Waterloo’s President, Feridun Hamdullahpur has done significant work for women through initiatives such as increasing women’s scholarships, raising female participation in STEM, and believing that there is still more work to do. We look to a brighter future in this fourth wave of feminism.
Here are some things you can do to continue the movement:
1. Participate in conversation.
If you hear something you don’t agree with, instead of raging out, start a productive conversation. Ask to hear their opinions. After giving them some time to open up, it’ll be easier to show your side and they’ll be more inclined to listen. You might even change their minds. Don’t keep silent. The problem continues because people think it’s acceptable. Don’t be afraid to add to the solution.
2. Prove people wrong
Play sports. Excel at math. Shake the uninformed out of their cluelessness.
3. Challenge norms
If you feel a stereotype is untrue, not grounded in facts, or is infuriating, speak your mind.
4. Tell your story.
Write poetry. Write a short story. Journal. Write an article (for Her Campus).
Start a blog. Make a long caption on your next Instagram post. Join the #BalanceForBetter tag. Whatever you feel most comfortable with.
5. Never give up the fight.
There is still work to be done.
Violence, discrimination, tolerance, stereotyping, and indecent, unfair treatment still exists. As long as one woman is hurting, the mission is far from over.