International Women’s Day- Why Should We Celebrate It?

Youth Voice

This post was written by Emily Fox, Representative for the East of England on UK Youth Voice. You can read more blogs from UK Youth Voice by clicking here and follow them on twitter @UKYV.

Today is International Women’s Day. A day which we should all recognise. It has been happening since 1911 and is now recognised every year by the UN. The day was set up when women were demanding the same rights which men had endured for years before. International Women’s Day brings women together across the world to voice an aim and their rights; to achieve full gender equality for all women through a range of events including talks, rallies and conferences.

We need to recognise some key women who have inspired us in the past

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” This is a quote from Oprah Winfrey, who is a motivational speaker on empowering women and girls to go out in the world and have determination to keep on trying to get a step closer to their goals in life.

Eleanor Roosevelt also spoke powerful words when she said “A women is like a tea bag –  you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” We are all fantastic people and we all have our strengths, we just need the opportunity to apply them in any way we can, whether that’s through our jobs, education or youth clubs.

Lastly, but by no means least, Rosa Parks, a civil rights activist, who refused to give up her seat to a white person, stood up to segregation in her society and following the act she said “I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move.” We should all take her advice, and reach out of our comfort zones, push boundaries and stand up for what we believe in, no matter how hard this may seem. By no means should we be pushed into a box or made to feel like we are insignificant in a world of 7 billion people. There is a place for us all to shine and be treated equally.

Drawing light to these figures in history may lead you to think that times have dramatically changed and that the world has become equal now, due to the globalisation of the world. But unfortunately this is far from the truth. Thousands are still in poverty and hunger, or are facing violence, which no one should have to go through. These are just a few of the problems facing women in every continent. Even if you feel you are in a good position, please think about those who are vulnerable, go and campaign for their rights. We are all in this together, no one should have to go through these measures.

It is important we act now

This day is still important because reports from World Economic Forum, those which place a focus on the Gender Gap still say that it will take over 200 years to reach gender parity, with the gap between female and male pay being 9.1%.  In addition, the Fawcett Society found out that women are four times more likely to give up their jobs to care- be this for their children, or parents, and only 28% of top business people are women, as said by the Hampton Alexander Review.

Therefore it is important we act now, not in 10 years time, to make sure something is done. Every one of us- men, women and non-binary, should stand to make a positive impact. I believe that nobody should be disadvantaged because of their gender.

This International Women’s Day calls for a #PressForProgress, where we stand up, we unify and take collective action to ensure that women are further represented and the system is far more inclusive of all genders than it currently appears to be.

Suffragettes showed playing our part in a wider movement can have a real difference in the societies we live in. We have the ability to make a huge change for the benefit of us all.

The right time is now. Take action.

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