We've Come So Far…But We've Got So Far To Go: Celebrating International Women's Day

9:29 AM

I believe that one of the greatest challenges contemporary feminism faces is the "we've come so far" mentality. Looking at the history of women it's easy to point to the moments that have seemingly solidified social progress.

And yet, we live in a society, we are members of a global community where women are still oppressed as the lesser of a peoples. In our world today, right now, right this second, millions of women are still fighting for the right to be seen, and heard, for the right to make choices about their lives and bodies, to own property instead of be property. 

International Women's Day has been celebrated around the globe since the early 1900's - from our sister suffragettes, to fair labor union advocates, we've had a reason to celebrate women decade after decade. But as we crawl slowly into the future, I look at International Women's Day less as a celebration and more of a challenge. 

In 2014, there is a day to call attention to the contributions, attributions, ambitions, and investments of women, and yet this is a call to challenge ourselves to remember and engage in such progressions every day of the year. 

The Women's Rights Movement has changed significantly over the last several decades; the feminist plights of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers as they marched for the right to vote transcended into the generation of our mothers who were engaging in higher education - but were only accepted in handful of fields. Today the Movement seemingly encompasses family rights, LGBT rights, workers rights, and access to health care and social services. 

The women of the world are changing, we're growing; with increased access to technology and educational resources - the intellect women have always been capable of is being cultivated in corners of the world where women were once barred from going to primary school completely. With these changes the issues that the global community of women are facing, the challenges  before are changing as well. 

In every country and in every corner, from coast to coast, continent to continent: violence against women is still rampant, physical and sexual violence affecting women of every socioeconomic class and status, with only 76 countries in the world have legislation that addresses domestic with only 57 of those inclusive of intimate partner violence. 10 countries legally bind women to be obedient to their husbands. Female Genital Mutilation is still practiced, with over 130 million women having been victims of a practice that compromises their sexual physicality and human dignity. In this year alone more than 14 million young girls - some younger than 10 years old, will be forced into marriages. 1.2 million children (most of them young girls) will be trafficked, illegally moved across state and national boarders. Globally, there continues to be a 15% gender wage gap… the list goes on and on. The list still exists. 

As our access to one another changes, as technology becomes wider reaching so too do those who work to oppress, to control, to hurt, and harm women and girls. Yes, since the dawn of man "we've come to far," but my friends, we still have so far to go!

This year more than ever before, let's accept the challenge. Let's stand up, let's celebrate, let's fight, and let's win. 

Happy International Women's Day! 

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