Why International Women’s Day remains so important

Waarom Internationale Vrouwendag nog steeds nodig is

Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. One could say: ‘is it really necessary to still have a day where we focus on the inequalities in our society?’ Well, yes! As long as we don’t accomplish equality, this day is necessary. Friday for example, Venezuala’s president Maduro has said women should have six children for the sake of the country… Again a man who believes he has the right to tell women what they should do with their bodies. Aren’t we living in 2020? I don’t get what is so difficult to understand about women and their right to decide what they do with their bodies. Shouldn’t this be a matter of course? 

How women still aren’t treated equally in our society

The abortion debate

Sadly, sometimes we seem to be miles away of that ideal scenario. I have the feeling that men constantly debate about women’s rights. Do you see the paradox here? The debate about abortion for example. Why is this even still a debate? When a pregnancy is unwanted, why shouldn’t a woman have the possibility to end it? All these pro-life supporters should in the first place realize that a woman will never abort a child ‘for fun’. There is always a reason behind it. Whether it is because she doesn’t feel she is in the right environment or financial situation to raise a child, she has been raped and doesn’t want a child from her rapist or she just isn’t ready to have a child, a woman should always have the free choice to not put a child on earth when she doesn’t want to. So why are so many people making such a difficult choice even more difficult? If abortion were a men’s thing, there would probably already be a better law in every place in the world. 

Ad banned from the Oscars

Apparently a lot of ‘women’s issues’ are still a taboo. This also became clear at the Oscars this year. An ad for postpartum products was banned by the broadcasting company ABC because of being ‘too graphic’. In the video was a woman who had just given birth and was experiencing difficulties with all the consequences for her body. For the Oscars it was too confronting, but it’s the reality of many women. So why should such an ad be banned? This transmits the message that women should not complain about anything and especially not when other people can hear or see it. In a nutshell: women can (or have to) give birth, but ‘please don’t talk about or show the inconveniences you experience because of it’. 

20 % of the Belgian women has been raped

Something else in the news this week was that 1 out of 5 Belgian women has been raped at some point in life. These numbers are terrible. It can literally happen to anyone, even if you live in a so-called ‘developed’ country. It’s just sad. Especially when you know this big issue gets relatively little attention in the media. I think the biggest cause of this issue is the lack of respect for women. I don’t know where or when it goes wrong for these boys and men, but the fact is that something in our society very much fails.  

Each for Equal

The theme of International Women’s Day this week is ‘Each for Equal’. This means for example that men can be feminist too and that they can become an ally in our fight for equality. Let’s hope that this group of allies expands until there is no other group left. But of course to just hope, is not enough. We should keep speaking up. #MeToo is important, no matter what some people in the comment section on Facebook say.

Don’t get me wrong, we have made a lot of progress already. But still not enough. And that’s why it is vital to keep showing what goes wrong in our society. An equal treatment and equal rights are simply the best for everyone. You can read everything about International Women’s Day on this website.

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