IWD always sneaks up on me and I never go to any events or get involved. This year I can feel less guilty about that since the north east is getting a massive snow day today, but even though I cannot gather with my fellow women today I can say a little something here.
God bless the Internets.
Women in first world countries might have it pretty damn good with all sorts of rights and expectations that our foremothers fought real hard to get for us and we are starting out on a more equal footing than we used to be, but there are still areas of the world where women don’t have that leg up. First World women still talk about equal pay and health care and reproductive rights; there are women in areas of the world who cannot get an education, cannot choose who to marry; there are areas of the world where women have no recourse for abuse. Young women in Eastern Europe run the risk of being forced into slavery when they answer an ad for a waitressing job; and girls in Thailand have been reported as having to work laying bricks to build schools rather than attend school themselves.
Women of the First World have a certain amount of luxury with our public education, access to information, encouragement and belief in our rights to be who we want to be and do what drives us. Our sisters across the globe are not so lucky as we and today we gather to remind the world that there are girls and women suffering, making the most of what little they have, some living in fear, and others trying to make their situations better.
Don’t forget the disenfranchised people of the world, especially the women and girls. There are ways to help: organizations which to donate money, volunteering for said organizations, getting jobs with these organizations; raising your girls to be strong women, but also to be aware of others; raising your boys to respect women and to be aware of others; using your voice, your words, your greatest power to make others aware of the injustices in the world. Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Support those who can when they use their own voices.
Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day.