The importance of celebrating International Women’s Day


Courtesy of Matt Hrkac

Participant holding a sign at the International Women’s March 2021 in Melbourne

Lindsey Kozel, Editor

Women’s rights have significantly advanced since the early 1900s when International Women’s Day started, but many still face inequalities nowadays.

Every year on March 8 is International Women’s Day – a day for celebrating all of women’s accomplishments and fighting for women’s rights. The 2023 theme is #EmbraceEquity, meaning it’s recognized that everyone has different circumstances and needs different amounts of resources in order to reach the same outcome.

An example of this could be how some women aren’t hired or promoted because employers believe they will have a baby and thus take time off work. In order to create equity, then men and women should have an equal chance of being hired or promoted because the idea of paid leave aligns with the needs of each individual. 

While workplace regulations have changed, many problems still exist today. 

In a study conducted by MIT associate professor Danielle Li, she found “female employees on average were 14% less likely to be promoted than their male colleagues…despite outperforming them and being less likely to quit.”

Even though the women were “better” employees, they still weren’t promoted solely because of their gender. 

In our world today, there are still girls who aren’t able to go to school. Since March 2022, girls in Afghanistan have been banned from attending school past 6th grade. Women also aren’t able to work in many fields and have to have a man accompany them for long travels. 

The leaders of the Taliban, the Islamic fundamentalist group that took over Afghanistan after the United States pulled their military troops, believe having women in the workplace or school violates Islam’s principles.

This is not only a violation of human rights but something that will greatly affect Afghanistan’s future. Higher education and more jobs create a bigger economy, but the lack of women in school or working will damage the economy and hurt Afghan society.

A Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) protest in 1998 (Courtesy of RAWA)

While this is devastating, it’s admirable that many women across the world have come together and protested for women’s rights. 

Another important aspect of International Women’s Day is highlighting all of the incredible things women have created. 

On a global scale, 1 in 3 businesses are owned by women, and many others sell women-created products. Items such as dishwashers, electric refrigerators, life rafts, and even windshield wipers were created by women. 

All of these are useful, if not necessary, products for everyday life, and we have women to thank for them. 

International Women’s Day is also meant for embracing education. People can learn about the unequal treatment of women worldwide such as the gender pay gap, unequal legal protection, underrepresentation in the media, and lack of education opportunities. Additionally, the day is to celebrate all the amazing things women have contributed to society to advance where we are today. 

However, beyond the achievements of women in our society, we need to acknowledge the different limitations that impact our equality, whether it’s girls in Afghanistan or women in the workforce. 

We need to keep fighting to create a more equal and equitable society that all women are proud to live in.