Today is International Women’s Day. The existence of such a day irks some people. It makes them uncomfortable and annoyed. Many dismiss it as irrelevant, and even unwarranted. They often ask the question with a smirk: “What about International Men’s Day?”
My answer to them is, International Men’s Day is perhaps not marked on the calendar because every day of every year is already Men’s Day.
A common misconception is that all the battles for women have already been won. We’ve got the right to vote, to work outside the home, to own property – after all, what else can a woman expect!
Is that All? Ask yourself the question… Are we able to walk down the street at night without fear of being followed, grabbed, or worse. According to WHO, more than a third of all women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Every year millions of girls are assaulted on their way to school, raped, murdered… Violence against women and girls is a global epidemic. Many of these cases are never even reported.
For these and many more, we need International Women’s Day to remind ourselves that hundreds of millions of boys and girls are growing up in a world where violence against women is acceptable, and where female subjugation is the norm – AND THIS MUST CHANGE…
Women’s Day, Women’s rights, Feminist movement – these terms often used loosely, are absolutely not about hating or excluding men. They are just about loving women more by including men and women in the process. Women’s rights- education, health and safety – is not just a women’s issue, it’s very much a men’s issue as well. The burden for change is however often placed on the woman but what is needed is men standing up and fighting for their sisters, mothers, wives, lovers, friends, to challenge current definitions of masculinity.
To those who can’t see the point of International Women’s Day, I tell them, “You are the very reason it’s there.” International Women’s Day is remembered because gender inequality continues – in every aspect of our lives – knowingly or unknowingly. however, the day it ceases to exist, we can erase it from our calendars.