Zara Samy, 12A
It is the 21st century, yet women carry on fighting all over the world for an equal society. Why? It is because the cause for which we are striving for is still not understood. The question of why women’s day should be celebrated is often presented due to this very reason. It is celebrated to acknowledge the sheer amount of work numerous women have put in to inspire and change the status of women over the past years, from the most renowned to those who brought even the smallest of changes.
It is true that women’s positions are far from that of the past, but it does not mean the inequality has been eradicated. Women to this day are underrepresented, underpaid, undermined compared to men. It is absurd to think that as of 2018, only 32% of national parliamentarians are females. While this may be in improvement from 1995 when the figure was 11.3%, but it is evident that the progress is slow and simply not enough. Even suffrage was legalized in 1893 in New Zealand for the first time, but it was not universal as Saudi Arabia granted suffrage for women as late as 2011. It still occurs in the educational sphere, where 62 millions girls are denied education worldwide. Moreover, one in five women on U.S. college campuses have experienced sexual assault as per the AAUW, which indicates that the inequality is occurring at a global scale.
According to WHO statistics, on average, 30 percent of women who have been in a relationship have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their partner. Also, women around the world aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria. These issues would not be in the limelight had it been tackled from the very first stage of socialization.
Our target now should be to remove this deep rooted idea of discrimination due to gender in order to be able to dismantle this system from above. This can only begin in our homes, where one is mostly influenced. It is not only our responsibility as women, but rather of men as well, to ensure equal treatment of both genders without discrimination for without this change, a nation cannot progress.
“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.”