There is a wall of silence about violence against women and girls, and every time a woman speaks out it breaks a crack in the wall
– Marai Larasi
The history of how women’s day rolled out is quite an incredible story in itself.
Standing for their side for better work condition, In 1908 women garment workers marched in NewYork City demanding economic, political rights and improved working conditions.They honoured a similar march by their forebears in 1857, when garment workers rallied for equal rights and a 10-hour day on that date.
Inspired by this, in 1909 The Socialist Party of United States of America designated this day as first National Women’s day in honour of the 1908 protests.
German socialist Clara Zetkin had agitated for several years for a special day to mark working women’s global solidarity. Further inclined by the New York women workers’ struggles and the strong role of women socialists, Zetkin proposed designating International Women’s Day at an International Socialist Congress in Copenhagen in 1910.
2017, bought some movements bringing real changes opening up loopholes in our society. Movements #metoo #timesup saw immense voices coming out against sexual harassment and calling for change. Though these set out a strong platform for impending reforms to come, there is a lot to be done.
- On January 21, 2017, thousands of individuals committed to equality and human rights took to the streets in cities around the world for a Women’s March in a major global moment. Folks mobilised to raise their voices on the issues most important to them including anti-discrimination, LGBTQI rights, reproductive rights, religious freedoms, refugee rights, and more.
- Following the takedown of Hollywood producer and sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, the #metoo movement went viral after a tweet from Alyssa Milano. Taking over every social media platform available, women across the world shared their personal stories of sexual assault to expose the global epidemic.Coined by Burke, the simplicity of saying “me too” proved the power of women banding together and speaking up.
Some of the data shared by #Timesup shows:
- Reports say, 1 in 3 women ages 18-34 have been sexually harassed at work. 71% of those women said they didn’t report it. For too long, women have been facing this, the fear of coming out as “unnecessary victims”
- More than one-third of the world’s countries do not have any laws prohibiting sexual harassment at work-leaving nearly 235 million working women vulnerable in the workplace
- Nearly half of men think women are well represented in leadership roles and one-third of women think women are well represented in leadership roles. The ground reality when seen is, only 1 in 10 senior leaders are women
- In the last 10 years, only 4% of top-grossing directors were female. Only 7 of these directors were women of colour.Are we better off today? Though these set out a strong platform for impending reforms to come, there is a lot to be done
Whenever there’s a movement like such, men and women stand in solidarity with support giving strong stance towards the stepping change to eradicating sexual violence and abuse. Standing in support can bring confidence and bring wonders in a movement.
Not only it assuages the initial fear to reveal the trauma one has faced but also eliminates the doubt of self-blaming for facing any sort of abuse. So, it’s not for the sake of “attention” that people come out in support, but for equity and parity across all sections.
To all the ladies out there, realise your worth. Do not let your unwavering strength, passion and resilience go in vain. Mould it, Gather that will to be seen, to speak up, to keep going, to be your powerful self. Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them
Happy Women’s Day ♥