Today is International Women’s Day. But millions of women in the world don’t even know that a day has been dedicated to them. These are the women who, ironically, need such a day the most. They are the most marginalized sector of our society. Women who are poor, uneducated, persecuted, used as weapons of war, abused, raped and treated as chattel for no better reason that they were born female.
International Women’s Day Doodle 2016: #OneDayIWill
The movement towards equality has made great strides. We now have women in the highest political offices, who are heads of multi-national corporations. But more importantly, women now have choices. For instance, I chose which university I went to. I chose the man I married. I chose when we were going to have children (with a lot of input from my husband, of course but it was always understood it was my body, my uterus, my choice). I chose to stay home and raise my children. I chose when I went back to work and what job. I had control over my life (as much control as a mother of four can have, that is).
But I’m one of the lucky ones. Lucky to have been raised in a household where I saw what equal partners look like through my parents’ example. I was lucky to have grown up with a grandmother who was a strong model of independence, who worked outside the home at a time women stayed home to raise children. I was lucky to have found a husband who is respectful and sensitive to my choices. I was lucky to live in a society that allows women equal access to education. But as wonderful as my reality is, it is a dream for millions of other women. For some, my reality is unfathomable, unattainable. Which saddens me to no end.
I hope for a day to come that when we celebrate International Women’s Day it is because we have accomplished not just equality for women, not just education for them, but a world that is safe for them, a world that treats them fairly and kindly, not because they are women, but because they are human beings, equal to any man. I hope that we see this in my lifetime.