So much to celebrate: Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day


Feminist perspective

Haley Hintz

 Situated perfectly in the middle of Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day– my favorite day of the year– is a way to recognize social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe.

The official campaign theme for International Women’s Day is appropriately named #balanceforbetter, which calls for the end of gender inequality workplace, home and every aspect of life.

Although there is no doubt that there are still improvements to be made regarding parity, this past year has made progress towards balance that should not be over looked. Last March 8, 2018 was coined “The Year of the Woman” after the success of intersectional movements led by many female activists.

Almost 100 years since women’s right to vote passed in U.S. Congress, women of racial, religious and sexual minorities attained historic victories in the election this past November. Overall, a record-breaking total 102 women currently have a seat in the House and 25 women serve in the senate.

These women are proving that they earned their rightful seat in governmental positions and that representation for every person in America truly matters. Hopefully, the rising generation will look to these congresswomen as role models so that they too can work in positions of power.

The past year has been triumphant for women outside of the U.S. as well.

Notably, Saudi Arabia announced that it lifted a ban which prohibited women from obtaining a driver’s license. This new law took effect in June of 2018 and was liberating because women will now have easier access to transportation facilitating easier access to the workplace.

Protests to overturn this ban were started by women in 1990. Nearly four decades later, the work of activists in the nation has paid off. It is heartwarming to know that the tireless and seemingly never-ending acts of resistance can come to fruition when women— and men– come together to demand the change they want to see.

Finally, it is exciting to honor the contributions of young girls who have taken control in creating the future that they want to live in.

My favorite female of the year is 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who has started a movement to help fight climate change in Europe and petition for tougher Swiss carbon emissions laws. She was invited to speak at the United Nations General Assembly after the success of her school strikes that garnered the support of 7,500 school-aged children in Brussels alone.

Girls like Greta remind us all that youth are gloriously powerful and intelligent. Even if they are not yet granted the right to vote by the government, that does not stop them from becoming leaders in lawmaking.

By taking time out of our day to celebrate the achievements of women everywhere, we can inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

So, everyone, take time today to acknowledge your favorite women in a variety of different ways, such as reading their works, watching feminist films or starting conversations about equality in your classrooms. One thing that the women of the past year have undeniably taught us is that there is no act of observance too small to be impactful in a community.

From me to you— Happy International Women’s Day!