International Women’s Day
Yesterday, it was International Women’s Day. Often unnoticed, this day should be an opportunity for all women (and men) to reflect and recognise the significance of the women in their lives, as well as celebrating the achievements, past and present, of women around the globe.
Historically, women have fulfilled certain roles defined by society. There are a number of women who have throughout time overcome these boundaries. Changes in attitudes and values have helped to evolve the role of the woman beyond prejudice. By reflecting on past attitudes and actions you can improve not only your own life but hopefully help to influence the continuous fight for equality.
Recent social, cultural and technological advances have allowed women to have an influence on a worldwide scale. From New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to environmental activist Greta Thunberg, women from all walks of life are changing the world for the better.
At 16 years old, Greta inspired a worldwide movement, starting with school children striking for one day to outline the dangers of climate change. Since this movement — Greta has provoked the minds of many, as well as taking part in global political conferences. Jacinda Ardern has arguably been one of the most organised leaders during the ongoing global pandemic — COVID-19. Ardern’s swift reaction ensured many things, from her countries safety — to its economic stability.
There are countless women who every day do selfless things for the benefit of others. Women through history have also continuously done things selflessly, while also fighting social injustices. Now — more women are able to speak out, have a voice, go to school. Through the increase in education, women are now able to have similar opportunities that men have had for longer.
Whether you yourself are a woman, or you have women in your life, it is important to recognise the daily struggle that some of us have to face just for being a woman. If you have a woman in your life, tell her that you appreciate her. If you are a woman, never forget to appreciate yourself. Always stand up for what is right, and what you believe in. If you can, always try and educate the minds of those who don’t understand. Equality should not be fought for, considered and contemplated. It should be existent through every walk of life — after all, without women, we would not exist.
International Women’s Day is not a day to forget what men have done. But a day to celebrate how women are increasingly being offered the opportunities that we have all deserved. This can be celebrated by recognising women in history such as Rosa Parks, Emmeline Pankhurst, Amelia Earhart, Malala Yousafzai, Frida Kahlo, Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, Gabriela Silang, Marie Curie, Teresa Magbanua, Katherine Johnson, Melchora Aquino, Diana Spencer, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Amy Johnson, Helen Keller, Ada Lovelace, Rosalind Franklin, Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Mary Seacole, Mary Shelley, Vera Atkins, Wangari Maathai, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Grace Hopper, Sacagawea, Nellie Bly, Bessie Coleman… the list gets bigger every day and it will only continue to grow if we remember the sacrifices of not only those women before us, but those that continue to fight for our equality, endlessly.