International Women’s Day highlights unheard voices around the world


Joey Hadden/Hilltop Views

Austinites gathered for the Women’s March back in 2017. The Women’s March dates back to 1908 and takes place in multiple cities.

In 2018, a record 36 women won seats in the United States House of Representatives in November. Irish citizens voted to repeal one of the world’s most restrictive abortion bans. Ethiopia voted in its first female president. Women in Saudi Arabia were legally permitted to drive.

With all of the progress women have made in just the past few years, some people question why days like International Women’s Day are still necessary in our modern society. And though women have made great strides, we need this holiday because we still have a long way to go before we’ve truly reached equality.

This day allows people to recognize the differences in the way men and women are treated in society while celebrating the past and present successes of women all over the world. Without this day, or the entire Women’s History Month, women would have a harder time continuing the conversation about women’s rights without being overlooked. It makes us more inclined to start a dialogue about how to close this gap between the way men and women are treated.

One of the most important aspects of International Women’s Day is the recognition of the many women whose voices go unheard and who continue to try and secure their rights. All around the world, women still struggle and fight to express their right to speech, to vote, to equality, to education, to income and, most importantly, to freedom. Though women in different countries have varying amounts of equality, we need to recognize them all.

Women in Pakistan participated in the aurat march (“women’s march”) and aurat azadi march(“women’s liberation march”) on Friday. The women protested against sexual harassment in the workplace, child marriage, “honor killings”, wage inequalities and limited political representation. These are extremely important issues that unfortunately go unnoticed in their male dominated society.

The organizers of the march used International Women’s Day to draw attention to their cause and convinced ordinary women to come and fight for their equality. Without this holiday, the women would have had to find a different platform to show the Pakistani government that they would not stand by as their rights were being restricted. If more people thought of the holiday as a way to spread awareness for women who have very few rights, we could give them the courage necessary to speak up for themselves.

Women’s Day is necessary because it honors the power and struggle of women who have broken all barriers and paved the way for women in the future. Women that have fought for change in the past are the reason that so many women today actively participate in politics, education, social work, corporate, sports, IT, research & development, innovation and other diverse fields.

Despite all the questioning around its legitimacy, International Women’s Day is a vital day dedicated only to women and their role in our society and lives. Women all around the world experience inequality, don’t let their voices go unheard.