By Megan Roth
March 8 was international Women’s Day.
A day to celebrate the achievements of women around the world and at home.
These achievements may be big or small. Sometimes it may not even seem like something to celebrate to someone looking in.
For example; a mother of three is able to successfully feed her family for an entire week on a minuscule budget.
To you that may not sound like something to scream and shout about, but to that woman and her family it means the world.
Maybe it is the lady down the street who got her first job in what is considered to be a “man’s field”.
Not a big deal to some, but to her that is a success that she fought years for.
Women have made amazing advances around the world for many years. Sometimes with acknowledgment and many times without.
Women, just like men, deserve to be celebrated. Everyday they do something amazing, in this troubling political climate more than ever.
March 8 was originally known as Working Women’s Day and was started in 1909.
The movement started in New York and organized by the Socialist Party of America. The movement was in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union.
Eight years later on March 8, 1917, the capital of the Russian Empire, Petrograd, was home to a demonstration of women textile workers, beginning the Russian Revolution.
Seven days later the provisional Russian government gave women the right to vote.
In 1975 the United Nations (UN) officially declared March 8 to be International Women’s Day.
Each year since 1996 the UN gave each International Women’s Day an official theme.
This year’s theme is Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.
It is clear women are very capable of changing the world. It was because the female textile workers demonstration the Russian Revolution began as it did.
Looking towards a 50-50 planet by 2030 should not be unrealistic.
In 2017, we really shouldn’t have to hope to have equality between men and women, and yet we still do.
Yes, thanks to the feminist movement in the ’70s, and even before, life for women in the developed world is much better. But not where it should be.
It is ridiculous that women are still shamed for the bodies, life styles, even their choice of profession.
If a woman is capable of doing the job the same as a man doesn’t that mean she should be seen as equal in that role? That she should be paid the same as a man in that same role?
That isn’t to say if a woman isn’t capable she shouldn’t be given preferential treatment, because she shouldn’t.
Being given preferential treatment is not what International Women’s Day is about.
Being equal does not mean being above or being given chances simply because you are a woman.
That isn’t what the women before us fought for. That isn’t what we should fight for either.
That is the problem with what is considered to be feminism today, or what I call “Tumblr Feminism”.
Instead of being placed on a equal playing field, women who claim to be feminist proclaim themselves better than their male counterparts.
Feminism is about the fight to be treated as equals with the same chance as everyone else.
To me that is what celebrating International Women’s Day is really about. Celebrating the fact that I have an equal chance as a man in my field all thanks to the women who came before me.
Because of those who came before us, Madame Currie, Frida Kahlo, Sally Ride – astronaut and physicist – and Emily Stowe, the first female doctor to legally practise in Canada, women today are able to pursue their dreams that years ago we couldn’t.
There was a time when women were prosecuted for being smart, for being educated. In much of the world this is thankfully no longer the case.
Women can be doctors where once they could only be nurses.
They can be engineers where once they could only be teachers.
International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements women have made, and are making, to change the world and make a better place for all.
Something worth celebrating for sure.