No, it isn’t a lifestyle magazine. Yesterday, March 8, was International Women’s Day.
It was celebrated in many countries to recognize women for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political. International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labor movements at the turn of the 20th Century in North America and across Europe.
Female equality shouldn’t need to be an issue. We are all on the same side.
We all have much to give. We all have our problems, our weaknesses, our beauty, our gifts, our failures and our successes. Equality doesn’t mean we are identical. It means we are equally valuable and equally deserving of respect, salary and dignity.
It’s nearly a century since women won the right to vote. In our day-to-day lives, and in our personal interactions, of course we see each other as individuals. But the large problem remains. Just last month — February 2017 — James Green, a vice chairman of a Utah city Republican Town Committee, argued that women getting equal pay would threaten home stability and take pay and jobs from men.
Though Green got backlash and ultimately resigned his position, the fact remains that this attitude continues into today.
This month, a viral video circulated in which a Polish member of the European Parliament ranted that “of course, women must earn less than men, because they are weaker, they are smaller, they are less intelligent. They must earn less. That is all.”
These emotions might be viewed as isolated. But even if we assume that is the case, two views out there that women are of less value than men is too many — especially when those views are from people in positions of leadership.
Regardless of gender, we all should be equally valued. Women should be paid the same for the same job performance. Women shouldn’t be objectified physically or judged on their appearance, regardless of sex. These are a lot of shoulds that don’t always translate to “ares.”
This week, for Women’s Day, we honor our mothers, our grandmothers, the strong women in our pasts who fought to be valued for their humanity. We honor our daughters, our sisters, our granddaughters, and hope for them a world that doesn’t determine value by gender but by hearts, souls, strength, and minds.
We may not be identical, but in the end, what matters is we are all the same, living in the same world which our contributions define and create.
Let’s create a better one.