I was asked recently, why is there a day dedicated to women? And not just any day…an international day?
I’m sure that there will be many posts on your social media sites speaking to loving women and women appreciating other women March 8th. What I want to make clear is that International Women’s Day is not about hating men in any way, but rather it’s a day to remember the daily challenges that women face globally.
History of Women’s Issues
What many of us forget, is that in our not so long ago history women in Canada were not considered to be persons under the law. Women only obtained a persons’ status through their marriage to a man. Many Canadians don’t realize that it wasn’t until 1960 that ALL women in Canada were given the right to vote as Aboriginal women were the last to be granted political rights under the law.
There are women around the world today that continue to be non-persons’ under the law of their country. This means that not only do they not have the right to vote, they don’t have the right to refuse sexual advances of others. This means that when they are raped, they have to prove their innocence in a corrupt legal system that privileges rapists.
Current Women’s Issues
Although we have the right to vote in this beautiful country, women are still living in fear of rape and violence. These two problems can lead to mental illness, homelessness, substance abuse, physical health breakdown, nightmares, flashbacks, abuse, self-hatred, eating disorders, self-harm, and the list goes on and on. Women live in a culture where they are not safe in public or in their homes. This is made evident by the ongoing growing need for Transition Homes that started in the 50’s to help women leave violent relationships. If violence wasn’t an issue, then we wouldn’t have any Transition Houses.
The meaning of March 8th
On this day, take a moment to reflect on how far women have come in history and how much further we still need to go as a society as a whole. We have a Prime Minister who declares himself a feminist! How magical would it be if we could all join together globally and stand up against violence and rape to create a safe society for all. That’s what international women’s day is all about.