The Meaning of International Women’s Day
“I have learned from literature that we humans are flawed. All of us are flawed. But even while flawed we are capable of enduring goodness. We do not need to first be perfect to do what is right and just.”
-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Thank you for stopping by Her Culture today. We welcome you to take in the stories, articles, book club, and podcast. Her Culture is devoted to you, as women, and is dedicated to sharing women’s cultures worldwide. We have great things in common and sharing our stories, successes, and failures will lift us up and unite us as a community. We, as women, want to be educated, we want to be free, have equal opportunity, fall in love, build the lives we dream of, and most importantly have the right to try.
International Women’s Day brings all of us together across the world. Not just women, but humankind. This day also reminds us of the key fact that, even in 2019, women across the globe, in all countries, do not have the same rights and opportunities as men. Research shows us that:
Poverty disproportionately affects women
1 in 3 (35%) women worldwide will be physically, sexually, or otherwise abused during her lifetime. In some countries, this reaches 70%.
Globally, over 2.7 billion women are legally restricted from having the same choice of jobs as men. Of 189 economies assessed in 2018, 104 economies still have laws preventing women from working in specific jobs, 59 economies have no laws on sexual harassment in the workplace, and in 18 economies, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.
Most of the 3.9 billion people who are offline are in rural areas, poorer, less educated and tend to be women and girls.
If you are reading this from a country that provides you certain freedoms, plan today to take full advantage of your liberties and opportunities. What will you try? What experience do you want to build? Don’t let the opportunities in front of you expire and go unused. Let this article remind you to stay engaged, take a chance, and build a life that you love.
No matter where we live in the world, let’s all join arms and support one another. I have long believed, through my own life experiences and observing women for 40+ years, that we need a community to feel truly engaged. When I was young, I saw my Great Aunt move from Lancaster, PA to Latrobe, PA to be nearer her family after her husband died. She never had children and from her description of life on the farm in Lancaster, many of the relationships she had were based on her husband’s occupation and existence. Once he passed, she found herself quite alone.
Then there was my mother and her friends. I observed them getting together and calling one another often to discuss the day’s events, ask for advice, and share news. Although my father worked long hours and traveled a fair way for work, my mother was surrounded by support, friendship, and love. She and her friends started businesses together, shared ways to save or make money, and shared their lives.
I myself have a network of female friends across the country and world. When my Mom passed in 2015 I had support from London, Florida, Bermuda, New York, Sydney, Pennsylvania, and the list goes on and on. What is amazing about the world today is that we can experience global communities and impact the world in greater ways. So let’s use International Women’s Day not as a momentary event on the calendar, but as a reminder to engage and build our communities. Let’s use it to invite people into our networks. And let’s act to encourage and demand that our societies build the policies and laws that advocate, support, and protect women.
Our global community should not rest until all women have the fundamental right to try. Try their hand at education, driving, building a career, living a life free from violence, and being free to give and take from this world the things that we want to experience.
To get you started, here are a few key moments from Her Culture, that we invite you to explore:
So many more ideas and stories await you on our Blog, the current Magazine, and past issues. You can follow authors that speak to you or search by categories that intrigue you. No matter how you engage, engage. The world won’t change unless we get involved and change it. From all of us at Her Culture, we wish you all the success, opportunities, and experiences that you desire!