8 Memorable Moments From 2017’s International Women’s Day

8 Memorable Moments From 2017’s International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on the 8th March, and has been since the early 1900’s. On each year, past achievements for gender equality are remembered and current issues that need to be overcome are highlighted.

Millions of people all around the world get involved in the occasion and the day makes for some great moments. The following are just 8 that stood out to me!

1. The Statue of Liberty Goes Dark

Although it was explained as an unplanned power outage, the timing was all too perfect. Late Tuesday night, the predominant lights of the Statue of Liberty went dark leaving an eery yet  impactful symbol. For this years IWD, many were participating in ‘Day Without a Woman’, and what better way to kick it off?

2. Girl vs Wall Street Bull

A statue of a young girl standing down the famous Wall Street bull was implemented, creating another powerful image and message. The statue was quickly branded as the “fearless girl” and it’s primary purpose is to highlight the issue of the lack of women on corporate boards. Not only this, but it makes a great statement. The girl is facing the bull head on, fists on hips, ready for what faces her. It’s a great message of female empowerment and should give us all that extra bit of confidence to stand up to our troubles.

3. Iceland’s Equal Pay Ruling

Another key highlight of this years IWD was Iceland announcing a new law that states companies must prove they pay their employees the same, regardless of gender, nationality, ethnicity, or sexuality. This should be enforced by 2020 and is greatly significant. Iceland are now the first country to have implemented a mandatory equal pay law, so hopefully many more will follow in their footsteps.

4. Women March in Pakistan

When it dominates the news and social media, it’s sometimes easy to only focus on the big city marches, and forget about other areas. These are women that face prejudice, abuse and turmoil every day and them getting out on the streets and campaigning for their rights should be recognised. Some of the women who participated in the march were acid attack survivors, which adds even more power and feeling to the images.

 

5. Ireland March for Abortion Rights

The abortion laws in Ireland are extremely strict and horrifying, and it’s almost completely banned across the country. The 8th Amendment (1983) outlaws abortion, including in circumstances of rape. Not only does this go against a woman’s choice, but it also means that many result to having unsafe abortions. Thousands of women (and men) marched through Dublin and other areas of Ireland protesting the laws in an effort to get it repealed.

6. Tattoos for Planned Parenthood

Hundreds of women got themselves empowering tattoos to show their support for Planned Parenthood. The proceeds of which were donated to the organisation. Plus, the women who participated in the event were able to get a permanent, visual representation of their strength to wear on their skin forever.

7. Emma Watson Scatters The Streets With Books

Emma Watson spent a good portion of her IWD spreading feminist and educational books around the streets for passersby to discover. Some of the locations she did this at included the statues of Eleanor Roosevelt, Gertrude Stein and Harriet Tubman. This is a great way to get people educated and invested in equality so hopefully they went to the right hands!

8. This Video

In case you’re ensure of why so many women get involved in IWD, and why it’s of such importance, just watch this video. I know it’s not exactly an official “moment”, but it’s something I watched that really resonated with me.

So, here’s hoping that this next year brings about greater change and continues the push towards equality. We’ve overcome a lot in the past 100+ years, but there’s still a long way to go.

Did you have a favourite moment, picture or video from yesterday? Share it in the comments or with me on Twitter!

Get involved in International Women’s Day by filling out the form below that asks, will you be bold for change?

A Woman’s Worth is Not Defined by Her Decision on Having a Child

A Woman’s Worth is Not Defined by Her Decision on Having a Child

As you may know through either experience or exposure, women are analysed and scrutinised in every aspect of their lives. The decisions they make, the clothes they wear, the people they’re with and the qualities they carry. Nothing’s left unjudged.

One topic that’s constantly being unnecessarily and disrespectfully discussed is why some women don’t have a child, whether by choice or by circumstance, and whether that makes them any less of a woman or any less worthy or respectable compared to those who do.

You may have recently read Jennifer Aniston’s article on the issue, “For the Record“, which inspired me to write this post. Aniston is probably the media’s most targeted victim when it comes to pregnancy speculation and gossip and her image and value are constantly being scrutinised because of it.

She began simply by setting the (broken) record straight. “For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of “journalism,” the “First Amendment” and “celebrity news.””.

Body shaming is a direct issue that arises through speculating whether a person is pregnant or not. Aniston especially experiences it, as the paparazzi are perpetually photographing her body for the tabloids to then go and shamelessly analyse. If her figure doesn’t match up to the standards of image created to judge women upon even further, then they’ll immediately begin to start the rumours. “Oh my god, her stomach isn’t flat in this picture!! She must be pregnant!!”

How can you not realise how insulting and insensitive that is to not just her, but to all women who may not conform to one specific body type?

“The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty.”

She then went on to discuss how society seems to define women based on their maternal and marital status. “We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete” – which is exactly right. A woman should not be defined by whether she’s single or whether she’s without a child. She should not be questioned and her worth should not be taken away as a result.

Being a mother and being a worthy woman are not mutually exclusive. If you haven’t had a child, you’re not a failure and you’re not any less of a woman. You’re simply human. Our lives are made up of choices, and the option to have a child is just another choice that a woman can either choose to make or not. It’s not a necessity. It’s simply a choice.

It’s worth saying too, that nurturing and maternal qualities are not solely restricted to those who have a child of their own. Sure, it could be said that being a mother may open you up to displaying those qualities further, but that’s not to say that nobody else can possess them too.

Whether a woman is caring or empowering is because of who she is as a person. How she was brought up, who she was influenced by, who she wants to be – basically everything other than whether or not she’s a mother.

Why a woman may choose not to have a child is no-ones concern but hers. It’s high time society stopped pressurising and planning out our lives for us. Would a man be considered any less of a man if he decided he didn’t want children? No. Of course he wouldn’t. Because society seems to solely focus on dragging women through the dirt for doing nothing other than living their life to their choosing.

Stop speculating over something so trivial. Stop debating over decisions that are out of your concern. Stop questioning the choices we make just because they don’t fit in with what you consider to be “normal”. A woman is worthy of whatever she wants to be and importantly, who she chooses to be. Her worth cannot be measured and it cannot be taken away because she hasn’t ticked off a particular box on life’s long list of options.

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