International Women’s Day falls on March 8th every year to recognize and uplift the achievements of women all around the globe. Simply being a woman and surviving in today's social climate is something of significance as the misconception that we live in a gender-equal society is widely spread and dampens the success of the modern woman who stands on the efforts of all the women before her.
Standing in solidarity with women for one day, especially when Women’s History Month lasts for the entirety of March, is not enough. Although we have seen great advancements in women's rights, it does not mean that the work is done and we have achieved an equal society.
Women are still primarily faced with the concern of their safety as we have still failed to reverse the system to teach men appropriate behavior instead of blaming it on the provocation of women. Women are still battling for their autonomy in states that consider wearing a mask as a violation of their freedom. Organizations are still boldly ignoring their female athletes and prioritizing the comfort of their male athletes. Bias still exists in the workplace where women not only have to prove their intellect but must also manage their behavior to avoid inducing criticism about their emotional stability. Pew Research Centre reports in a 2017 survey that “one in four employed women said they had earned less than a man who was doing the same job.” Meanwhile, only 5% of surveyed men said that they had earned less than a woman doing the same job as them.
Yes, we can vote. Yes, we can go and get an education. But just because our most basic rights as people have been granted after years of advocacy doesn’t mean that the fight is over. Just because the issues are less blatant doesn’t make them less important.
International Women’s Day is a reminder of how far women have come in society, but it is also a catalyst for further growth. It marks a day where women can evaluate where we currently stand while highlighting all that is left for us to fight for. It is a day to be appreciative, but never satisfied until true gender equality exists, because referring to how much better we have it now compared to before is not equitable. We must stay active in our pursuit of equality because, as history has shown, if you want something to change you must do it yourself.