International Women’s Day
21Although patriarchy is believed to have originated in the tribal marriage practices of 3100 BC, and in more recent times there have been positive shifts in attitudes, legally and socially, it is still present in the year 2021. Patriarchy locates power in males and views females and children as inferior. It influences all areas of society including culture, family, school, the workplace and relationships. Its presence can translate to inequality and gender-based violence. Because of this, International Women’s Day is held to Inform us and raise our awareness.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. The world has made unprecedented advances, but no country has achieved gender equality. Fifty years ago, we landed on the moon; in the last decade, we discovered new human ancestors and photographed a black hole for the first time. In the meantime, legal restrictions have kept 2.7 billion women from accessing the same choice of jobs as men. Less than 25 per cent of parliamentarians were women, as of 2019. One in three women still experience gender-based violence.
UN International Women’s Day
May we love and respect one another as equals.
Examine yourself for your acceptance of role stereotypes and your support of inequalities. Change where necessary. Teach girls in your family that they are strong, capable, more important than their appearance, and deserving of the same respect as boys. Praise them equally for their intelligence, strength, leadership, and athleticism. Encourage girls to speak out and assert themselves and show them the possibilities of their potential. Teach boys they are equal with not superior to girls.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Only in the last half of the twentieth century did women begin to break down educational barriers and enter new world arenas. Only then did women historians begin to uncover the unpublished, unhung, unmarketed works of women from centuries past. Only then did ideas like these ever hope to see the light in print. Now we take the words for granted, but we fail to admit that nothing much has changed as a result of them.
Joan Chittister, OSB
We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.
We must raise both the ceiling and the floor.
If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.
A world full of empowered women isn’t one where men are marginalized. It’s a world where everyone thrives.
I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.
You don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman.
Jane Galvin Lewis
The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.
Aung San Suu Kyi
It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.
The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.
In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.
Women of the world deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotypes and violence; a future that’s sustainable, peaceful, with equal rights and opportunities for all. The world needs women at every table where decisions are being made. Women’s full and effective participation and leadership in of all areas of life drives progress for everyone. Yet, women are still underrepresented in public life and decision-making.