Much to my delight for the past few days my Facebook has been packed with posts about International Women’s Day and information regarding National Women’s History Month.
Inevitably on many of these posts came the questions:
why does their need to be a WHOLE day for women?
why do women get a whole month to celebrate their history?
do men get that?
Well that’s what I get for reading the comments.
So why DO we need a Women’s History Month?
Why should we celebrate International Women’s Day?
Because for too long history was written by men for men. Women were intentionally left out of the picture, consciously pushed aside.
Because on average women still make 77 cents to the average man’s dollar.
Because in 2010 there were an estimated 19,300 assaults in the military.
Because of the world’s approximately 195 nations, only 19 are currently led by female presidents or prime ministers.
Because there are still countries (including the United States) that have no mandated paid maternity/paternity leave for new parents.
Because it is estimated that between 100 and 140 million girls globally have undergone female genital mutilation.
Because in 2010, an estimated 284,000 women in developing countries died from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth—the large majority of these deaths were preventable.
Because in 2011-2013 alone there were more state abortion restrictions enacted then in the last decade in the U.S.
Because in 2011, 89% of U.S. counties did not have an abortion clinic.
Because women only make up 13% of total engineers worldwide.
I could keep going with these facts, showcasing the suffering women and girls all over the world, but I will not. You get the idea.
I wish women had equal opportunities and were celebrated every day, and every month. But right now that is not our reality. We all must celebrate International Women’s Day to start chipping away at injustice.
What will you do to celebrate? How will you honor the women in your life? How will you make sure women do not get written out of history in the future? How will you make women truly equals?
Start by recognizing the women in your life who have made a difference. Publicly spread the word. Celebrate your favorite women of history. Do not be afraid to share a link on Facebook or tell a woman Happy International Women’s Day. Spark a conversation. Tell the supportive men in your life that you appreciate their contribution. Encourage them to participate in the #HeForShe campaign, where globally men are using their privilege to stand up for women.
But do something. Cease this opportunity to make a move. Do not be idle.