In its 101st year, International Women's Day is described by the United Nations as a day, "when women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day... they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development." Maybe I'm making too many assumptions here, but whether or not you identify as a feminist, it seems to me: this is something each one of us should stand behind.
There are a variety of women's issues being discussed and protests being had today. There are also quite a few causes to support---including, but certainly not limited to, Vittana (pst: in just a few clicks, you can make a small loan to empower 100 women in developing countries through education.) Even so, no matter how you choose to recognize, celebrate, or advocate today, I believe your action is important. But in addition, I ask you do one thing for me: respect each other.
With all the strides we, as women, have made, we do not treat each other well enough in our everyday lives. Honestly, we are just too gosh darn competitive. For instance, my fellow fun-loving twenty-somethings, take: the bar. If you don't go with one or two of your girlfriends to begin with, there is a good chance you won't be making any girlfriends at the establishment itself. You might end up flirting with a stranger (guy, gal, whoever), but when is the last time you had a truly pleasant, platonic, sober-ish conversation with another woman? Exactly. I recall being completely dumbfounded the one single time the above situation happened to me; I hadn't thought it possible. Yet it is. We are completely capable of approaching each other with kindness, no matter where we find ourselves.
And we should. Because, at the end of the day, there is a lot more social progress to be made. Although I do not love every woman I meet and I certainly know a few whom I don't like at all (same goes for men, of course), I recognize that positive change is simply not made by one person alone. We have to learn to work with each other and get along at least well enough, to have compassion for the battles each one of us is fighting, and to show support as best we can.
It's a lot... I know it is, and I am certainly not perfect, but I really do think it needs to be done. Try with me, won't you? We deserve this just as much we deserve to be our own biggest fans. If you have a chance, please watch the video below as well:
Thanks again, Amy, for sharing it with me. Finally, on a completely positive note, a few "girl power" global findings from the The Independent:
- "Iceland has the greatest equality between men and women, taking into account, politics, education, employment and health indicators."
- "Rwanda is the only nation in which females make up the majority of parliamentarians. Women hold 45 out of 80 seats."
- "Women in Japan can expect to live longest, beating men by seven years."
- "Literacy rates among women in Lesotho exceed those of men, with 95% of women able to read and write, compared with 83% of men."
- "Thailand has the greatest percentage of women in senior management."