Each International Women's Day I am faced with the challenge between celebration and frustration. Celebration in how far women and girls' rights have advanced from our right to vote, but equally frustrated in how slow and cyclical this progress has been.
In 2021, we still live in a world where 1 in 3 women experience physical and sexual abuse. "Half of women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family, and violence perpetrated against women is as common a cause of death and incapacity for those of reproductive age, as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than road accidents and malaria combined."*
This isn't just happening 'over there' in somewhere far outside of your control and influence. It is happening in all spaces, at all times to all types of women and girls. We are all to reminded by the murder of Sarah Everard violence can happen even by walking home at night. Physical and sexual violence is only one small part of the story when we include everyday sexism into the mix: the gender pay gap, sexual harassment and the world systematically designed to give advantages to white, cis, heterosexual males.
Today, I celebrate, reflect and commit to doing more. More for womxn who weren’t born female, women with disabilities, women from different ethnicities, women of all sexualities, women with any intersection with makes the more marginalised and their lives so much more difficult. What more can I do to challenge this reality? How can I dismantle these structures through my own education, growing myself and listening to more intersectional voices to learn to change the things I don't know?
How will you commit to the changes in yourself to make the actions possible to do better for others?