International Women's Day



Sunday, March 8th is International Women's Day and it has been observed and celebrated for almost a century.  Thousands of events will be held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate our achievements.  We have come so far since the times of the suffragettes fighting for the right to vote, yet we have so much further to go.

This day is set aside to celebrate women's achievements and call for greater equality for women.  Some people get turned off with the idea of feminism, however I believe that Emma Watson got it 100% right when she stated to the UN her beliefs and understanding of feminism in her HeforShe Campaign.  The following is an excerpt of her speech:

For the record, feminism by definition is: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.” I started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not. 

When at 14 I started being sexualized by certain elements of the press. 


When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn’t want to appear “muscly.” 


When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings.

I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. 
But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word.

Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive.

Why is the word such an uncomfortable one?

I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.

No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.  


Read Emma Watson's speech in full here.

I FIRMLY believe that being a feminist does not mean that you are a hater of men.  It means that you are a champion, believer, and celebrator of women and young girls.  It is our job as women to encourage, support and empower one another.  Celebrate in each others' successes and offer assistance when help is needed.  Take some time this weekend to celebrate YOUR OWN achievements as a woman (however small or extravagant they may be), and be happy for the successes of other women around you.  We need more of that in this world.

Susanne


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