International Woman’s Day: Remembering the Past and the strive for the Future: an article by Ivy Edwards our work placement in March 2020.
Equality should not be something we should have to fight for. The right to be acknowledged. The right to be heard. The right to feel like our contributions to society are not taken for granted and overlooked. It is not asking for much to have the accomplishments of women, whether that be politically, economically or socially to be celebrated and recognised, without it being seen as an act of affirmative action or “political correctness gone mad” in the comments sections of news sites, or the vacuous void that is social media.
But what do I know?
I am a trans woman and to some, including feminists, I am merely a “man in a dress”. Or to others, I am a “Trans extremist [who] puts equality at risk.” But let me pose this question to you if I may. In a world where women fight for their human rights to be respected, or to close the significant pay gap that stands between men and women, why do we feel the need to tear ourselves apart? We are a community. Surely now more than ever, we need to accept the love and support of everyone. Work towards the universal goal and leave behind the prejudices that divide us. So, I say to the Daily Telegraph, who lovingly used that quote about extremism as a headline, thank you for that title. I will wear it as a badge of honour on March 8th, showing my support for all, even those who won’t share the same response in kind.
Held annually since 1913, International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the historic global victories of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. A publicly celebrated holiday in many countries, the roots of this important occasion have been traced back to the early 20th Century. While originally starting with well-attended meetings and rallies across Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and Austria in 1911, the I.W.D has since gone on to garner great international support from both the United Nations and the general public, actively trying to spread the messages of gender equality and inclusivity for all.
107 years this Sunday, the theme of 2020’s International Women’s Day is “I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights.” #EachforEqual. While we have made a lot of progress for parity, we still have a long way to go to create a truly balanced and equal society.
However, it is unfortunate that change can’t just happen overnight. It is something that is worked on over time. But with each victory, we take one step closer to the goals of the fallen pioneers, who paved the way for us to make our mark on the road to fairness.
While it is very important for us to remember our past, we should also look to the future and face whatever is thrown at us with unity and togetherness. No matter of your background. No matter your sexuality. No matter if you identify as genderfluid or trans. If you are a woman, then you will have the love and support that you give to us. After all, that is the very spirit in which this day was founded.
Ivy Edwards March 2020