I will admit – I have always been a bit bothered by the concept of Women’s Day.
What do we actually do on Women’s Day?
It’s 2022; do we need Women’s Day?
What even is Women’s Day?
Every 8th March, I see posts on Instagram that I think are meant to be funny.
Oh ok, so is it a day we hate on men?
Every 8th March, I get countless forwards from well-meaning family members.
Got it, got it. So it’s a day we think we’re superior!
Every 8th March, I get ads from companies who want to sell me things.
So… It’s a shopping day?
While adding to cart – yes, I do deserve it. It’s Women’s Day, okay! – I decided to do some research and learn more about the historical and political significance of Women’s Day, instead of just criticizing it. There had to be something more to it. This isn’t a made up day, and maybe over the years, we have just forgotten what’s so special about it.
First things first – most people think International Women’s Day is just for women, and by that logic, it is anti-men.
Nope! Everyone is welcome.
Women’s Day, celebrated every year since 1911, has a two-fold message:
- To celebrate the achievements of women
- To accelerate gender equality
And for both these things, everybody needs to be involved.
The official International Women’s Day website states, ‘International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for well over a century – and continues to grow from strength to strength.’
There have been several debates around the day, the popular one being “Then why don’t we have an International Men’s Day” and the answer to that one is pretty simple. We are just not on equal footing. The saying “It’s a man’s world!” is not completely untrue, and until we have equality, International Women’s Day is a reason to amplify women’s voices.
The second popular debate is, “Well I personally don’t feel any discrimination. My parents treat my brother and I equally.” And to that, I’d say – You are lucky! Your parents are doing as they should. But millions of other women are not as lucky. In many countries, there are laws that prevent women from getting the health care and protection they need, and child marriage is still legal in 100+ countries. These girls and women need their voices heard.
So while we may be privileged enough to not really need International Women’s Day, and for many, it’s a mere social media holiday, let this piece be a reminder for us all to continue celebrating and empowering women who do need a day recognised for them.
The first action is simple – skip the meaningless forward.
Start a conversation.