I devised a piece last year exactly on this day in which I wrote of the ongoing fight for equality within this rigid gender discriminating, warped version of reality that we live in. I spoke of the ever apparent limitations that are externally exerted onto women’s lives and the abhorrence of gaps in pay and lack of decision making capacity and agency that continue to plague us as womankind. The sad thing is that 1 year later, all the above remains the same and the struggle goes on. However, this year on this ever so important Internal Women’s Day I choose to focus on something else, today I pay homage to hope.
It’s been a difficult few months to the say least. The incoming American administration’s clamp down on basic human rights and more specifically women’s rights has been as painful as it has been debilitating to watch. Additions to this circumstance include the Russian judiciary decision to decriminalise domestic violence, plus countless incidents of violence and intimidation of women reported around the world. It would have been easy to simply lay down and give up the fight, to conform to misguided ideals which limit the freedom and expression of women the world over. But instead the opposite has come to fruition.
As we mark this day we pay homage to the countless women’s rights marches that are about to occur. We remember all the warriors who have come before us and paved the path for the struggle towards equality that we continue to this day. We recall the women who are trapped in cycles of poverty, homes affected by gender based violence and those who are excluded from attending school based simply on their gender. We keep these women in our hearts and fight alongside them by using the agency, voice and influence we are gifted with as educated women in ‘developed’ countries. We never forget the intersectionality that exists within the struggle by acknowledging that the battles faced by women with disabilities and those from ethnic minorities is different than others and tends to compound their oppression.
However, we retain all of this in our hearts and minds by falling back on the hope for the change and the ongoing fight that is all of our responsibility. Until the day that gender equality is achieved, violence against women is abolished and freedom attributed to everyone not based on gendered lines comes about we continue our march. Onwards towards justice and equality.