Women have come a long way over the years, fighting for their rights and for their voices to be heard but we still have further to go. Since the suffragette movement in the early twentieth century, women have been able to vote and find new footings in government agencies, elected offices, and political parties and now can become a leader of a country. In the UK Margaret Thatcher was the first female Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. If it was not for the suffragette movement, this would not have been impossible.
Women have faced a lot of discrimination throughout history and still do. Therefore, Women’s Equality Day was founded and to be celebrated on August the 26th of each year to recognise the journey many women have gone through to fight for their rights. On this day we recognise the hardships that many women had to overcome which has led to great progress in many countries today but in some countries around the world, this is not the case.
From UN women:
1. Gender inequality is a major cause and effect of hunger and poverty: it is estimated that 60 percent of chronically hungry people are women and girls. (Source: WFP Gender Policy and Strategy.)
2. According to global statistics, just 39 percent of rural girls attend secondary school. This is far fewer than rural boys (45 percent), urban girls (59 percent), and urban boys (60 percent).
3. Men's average wages are higher than women's in both rural and urban areas. Rural women typically work longer hours than men, due to additional reproductive, domestic and care responsibilities.
4. Women make up more than two-thirds of the world's 796 million illiterate people. 5. Women's participation as chairs or heads in rural councils is also much lower than men's, as seen in Bangladesh (0.2 per cent) and Cambodia (7 per cent).
Women continue to face issues such as gender pay gaps, abortion rights, gender-based violence and discrimination.
This is why Women’s Equality Day is needed more than ever and is significant. The recent supreme court decision in the US overturned the abortion rights for women in the Roe vs Wade case, this has ended the right of many women across America to get an abortion.
This case has impacted women’s rights and it shows how women have once again faced another setback. So, this day on the 26th of August is important for every girl and woman out there to voice their concerns so we can all work together to help solve them.
Did you know that Women's Equality Day was created in America? It was first celebrated in 1971 and this date was to commemorate the anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S Constitution. This allowed women the right to vote in 1920.
Even though this day has its roots in the US, Women's Equality Day is celebrated around the world to show support for women. Generation Z these days have turned to social media to empower and campaign for women which is great, and we should do the same!
We should empower each other by:
1. Sharing stories
2. Encouraging other women
3. Listening to women
4. Showing appreciation for every woman in your life like your mum.
We must share stories and uplift every woman around us so we can share this with the younger generation. The younger generation needs to understand that discrimination based on gender will NEVER be tolerated. Even if your story has inspired one person, that goes a long way.
Never be afraid to speak up for what you believe is right and with that, Happy Women’s Equality Day to every strong woman out there!