International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. The celebration has been held for over a century. Since then, women have come a long way, and yet so many things are still the same. In 2019, we have broadened the definition of womanhood to include every woman, whether they are cis, trans, femme, masc, or nonbinary.
Being a woman has changed a great deal from what people thought it was in the early twentieth century, but in other ways, it’s also very similar. We have the right to vote now, but we still don’t have equal pay. Our right to an abortion has been granted but is still widely contested. And many of us still experience some of the same unifying moments that unite women: buying your first training bra, failing at matching your winged eyeliner, shaving for the first time, deciding to forego shaving, being catcalled, menstruation, giving birth, using hormones – you name it.
Again, we have come such a long way since the 1900s, but there is still so much that feminists seek to accomplish. Feminism is not just an issue for women, but for humankind. As Gloria Steinem put it,
“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”
What more do we need to accomplish? Even among feminists, we must seek to represent not just middle class, white, cisgender women but all women under the umbrella of women and women’s rights. And while we may have more women breaking through that glass ceiling, we need to fight to make sure those women are being paid the same amount as their male counterparts. Also, it’s important to acknowledge that while there are some issues you may feel have been fixed in your community, that doesn’t mean they’ve been addressed worldwide or even one town over. Globally, women still are not as represented in the business, educational, or political sectors, and women face an increased risk when it comes to health and violence as compared to men.
In 2019, let’s continue to strive for women’s equality and justice. Together, we can strive to make every day International Women’s Day.