You’ve probably encountered some smart-arse today asking why women deserve an entire day dedicated to themselves…
Firstly, you can inform them that International Men’s Day actually takes place on 19 November and that they can throw a hoolie then, if they so wish.
Secondly you can cite any of the following issues as to why International Women’s Day has never been more important or relevant in 2017.
Once we’ve taken care of the following struggles, I’d be more than happy to get rid of IWD..
The gender pay gap
A study in the UK last year found that women earn €390,000 less than men throughout their working life. Figures from Eurostat showed that salaries for women in Ireland are, on average, 16% per cent less than their male counterparts.
Women are constantly overlooked for jobs that they are over-skilled for due to their gender. Anyone who says that the glass ceiling doesn’t exist is delusional, and this needs to change. The fear of a woman leaving for a short period to bring another human into the world shouldn’t lead an employer to choose men over them for roles.
This is also a social issue that affects men, but the figures of domestic violence against women and children are frightening. Many women feel trapped in these situations, afraid to leave for fear of the repercussions for them and their offspring.
Women not having autonomy of their own bodies
The Eighth Amendment hasn’t prevented one crisis pregnancy. Instead, it has exacerbated the situation and caused women to take the situation into their own hands, at a detriment to their health.
It’s also having a serious impact on the delivery of medical care in Irish hospitals and putting rape victims in a position where they’re forced to carry a resulting pregnancy to full term.
Women are still being treated as second-class citizens in Ireland.
Some people still think that feminism is a dirty word
“Oh God, no I’m not a feminist but I believe in equality…”, this sentence has been uttered by men and women alike. Anyone who has this opinion doesn’t fully understand the feminist cause.
The fact that it is still extremely unsafe for women to travel alone
Women are consistently told that they should not travel alone, yet the behaviour of the men who threaten their safety is rarely questioned. Natasha Murtagh summed it up perfectly in this article in the Irish Times.
Daily sexual harassment
Whether it’s degrading catcalls, a man walking far too close behind you (leading you to call your flatmate as a safety precaution) or someone getting angry because you refuse their advances, sexual harassment is omnipresent. At times, it can be downright terrifying.
Because ‘she was asking for it’ is still used as a reason for sexual violence
It’s not about what someone was wearing, or how drunk they were – nobody has permission to sexually assault another person. In 2014, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s national helpline received 9,207 genuine calls who went on to receive counselling. This is why we need to focus on the issue of consent.
Education for girls not being a global priority
Girls and women are held back from education in developing countries because they are expected to have children from a young age, and this has a knock on effect on just about everything.
“Educating girls is a surefire way to raise economic productivity, lower infant and maternal mortality, improve nutritional status and health, reduce poverty, and wipe out HIV/AIDS and other diseases.”
Maritza Ascencios, from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Media Center
And unfortunately, because things like this are happening day in, day out
Sadly, that is only the tip of the iceberg…
International Women’s Day is celebrated so that we can start to tackle the multitude of challenges that females worldwide face each day, and it’s high time that everyone recognised that.