It is March 8th, International Women’s Day!
If you don’t know what Women’s Day is, you can find a complete history of the day here. Today is a celebration of women around the world and, more importantly, a day to shed light on topics that affect over half of the world’s population: girls.
This year’s theme is Push for Progress. Women around the world are pushing for gender equality when it comes to wages and education and simply pushing to feel safe in our work places, homes and on our streets. You can become a part of the Push for Progress movement in about 15 seconds here.
I’ve always been a big believer in girl power. I grew up surrounded by strong female role models. (I was raised by a single mother who is a master sergeant in the Wisconsin National guard and has put in over 20 years of service. I also have four older sisters and 9 aunts who I’ve always strived to be like.) The thought that I was limited based on my gender never occurred to me. I remember being shocked and frankly confused the first time I heard that women were not being compensated at the same level as men or that in some countries education was seen as a privilege that girls often do not enjoy.
However, as I’ve gotten older I have seen some of the downfalls of being a women in today’s society first hand. For example, when I went to the doctor about my Endometriosis, I had to go to 5 doctors before I could find one that would even listen to me. One doctor even sent me to counseling and told me that my pain was purely emotional without even touching me or doing a single test. I pushed against the doctors that wouldn’t listen to me because I am a young girl until I found someone who would listen and treat me. Of course this is nothing but a drop in the bucket compared to what other girls go through every single day.
I am proud to be female. Women do great things every day. Mothers (and fathers) and teachers across the globe raise the future citizens of our world to dream and achieve their goals no matter their gender, race, religion, social class or sexual identity. Young women like Parkland High School student, Emma Gonzalez, are leading the way to end gun violence in our schools. Women in Hollywood are getting bigger roles in popular movies, shifting the way we perceive women in the media. Women all over the world are doing their parts to instill body positive thoughts in our youth. Slowly but surely women are getting the chances to serve powerful roles in government, science, philanthropy and industry.
I hope you are inspired today to push against whatever is holding you back and strive to achieve your goals no matter your setbacks. Also, I hope that today you are proud to be a woman.
– ♥ Alana
Lastly, here are some of my favorite quotes on the topic of International Women’s Day:
“I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” ―Malala Yousafzai
“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” —G.D. Anderson
“When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.”―Bette Davis
“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” ―Gloria Steinem
“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” —Audre Lorde
“I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story–I will.” —Amy Schumer
And here are some wise words from everyone’s favorite feminist, Leslie Knope: