By Angélica Fuentes
I do not want March to end without writing about International Women´s Day. This is a movement that seeks to build a world of justice where human rights are respected. It crosses all borders to encourage continuous efforts towards equality.
It is important to reflect on the reasons behind “International Days”. Some organizations assign a specific date each year to bring attention to issues that require immediate consideration, and which need to be prioritized in the agenda. The goal is to sensitize people and to foster positive changes for society and the environment. Relevant aspects of human life and human history are therefore highlighted on these special days with the intention of improving quality of life and reinforcing universal human rights for everyone.
There is an International Women´s Day because we have historically been subject to various forms of discrimination. We are often considered less capable than men and are victims of cultural prejudices that limit our development. Unfortunately, these behaviors are reproduced by institutional systems. Even now, in the 21st century, women face more barriers than men to fulfill their aspirations; rigid social gender roles and inquisitive power relations are still an every-day struggle.
In spite of growing awareness on the matter, women still face violence, discrimination, and inequality daily. Efforts have still not yet translated to significant changes in the lives of women. It is therefore important to continue to create awareness on the importance of women empowerment. International Women’s Day increases visibility on the matter, so that we may reflect on where we are, what has been done, where we are going and what we still need to do to achieve gender equality. In the name of all the brave and tenacious women that gave their lives to this cause, lets raise our voices to create greater change and take action towards a fairer and more equal society that is beneficial to all of us.
The 2018 Woman’s Day motto is “The Time is Now: rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”, and the hashtag is #pressforprogress. Let us join this call to action, not only during March but for the rest of our lives. There is no time to waste. I am sure we can all contribute, but we must shift old paradigms aside.
I envision a society where measuring gender gaps has no sense, and nobody faces additional difficulties for being a woman; a society in which love, respect, tolerance, and solidarity guide people’s actions and where we all are free to make our own decisions. I imagine a society where there is no discrimination and our daughters can grow up without fear. I picture a society in which women have the same opportunities as men, where there will be no need for an International Women’s Day. Small everyday actions can contribute towards equality. Don’t wait any longer! Now is the time to promote a fairer society.