Picture this; it’s the 21st century, there are no hate-crimes, refugees have been integrated in communities around the world and granted access to education, there are women in parliaments where women could not vote before, gender-discrimination in the workplace is a thing of the past, and no woman is forced to marry her rapist based on century old laws in countries by the sea.
Unfortunately, and with great disappointment, it’s easier to write those words down than see them manifest in reality.
You see, there are laws still that force victims of rape to marry their rapists in order to drop charges. There is discrimination still where women are paid less for the same job a man does. There is oppression still when a group of men decide what a woman should or should not do with her body, what health measure she should or should not take. There is ridicule still when a woman is told to shut-up and concern herself with ‘beauty’ or the ‘kitchen’ every time she makes a statement on politics. There is regression still when girls are denied access to education. There is injustice still when a man thinks it’s okay to beat his wife and then tell her he loves her. There is still an unfairness to policies forbidding women from granting their children their nationality and birthrights.
Do not speak of equality because a woman in Europe looks comfortable, satisfied, contained; you do not know her struggle. Do not speak of equality because a woman in the Middle East started her own company, she’s her own boss; you don’t know what prejudice she receives.
There is a common notion present that diminishes the importance of feminism because of opinions spit onto women’s faces judging their sole demand to be treated human. Equal.
Human and equal shouldn’t be so far fetched, being brave and revolutionary shouldn’t be the standard to be treated rightfully. This International Women’s day, a day for all women, men, and non-binary, young or old to join forces not to celebrate, but to champion basic human rights.
After all, there is nothing to celebrate, yet.
There are only milestones of extraordinary achievements by women who defied gender norms and told the world of prejudice: you can not stop me. Nothing stops a champion.
From AIESEC, to the world: To achieve peace we must first breed leaders worthy for the world. And this world does not exist in the absence of a basic human right; equality.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BeBoldForChange; what are you going to do about that?