International Women’s Day 2017


Lily Merritt, Opinion Editor

Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Mukhtaran Bibi, Susan B. Anthony: all influential women’s rights activists across the world and centuries who are the reason we celebrate this day. March 8 of every year since 1911, has been commemorated to the power, rights, dignity, and respect of women around the world, as well as the struggles they have endured for centuries. 2017’s Women’s Day was celebrated across the world, uniting women in one powerful movement nation to nation.

In Australia, 1,000 women across the country walked out of their jobs at 3:20 on the dot in protest of the immense wage gap. 97% of the female workforce is underpaid within Australia alone.

This year Iceland announced that it will be the first country in the world to hold companies accountable for proving that they pay every individual equally, regardless of their gender, race, nationality, or ethnicity. This new plan of action will be known as, “The Equal Pay Standard”. This method has been predicted to end Iceland’s wage gap by the year 2022.

The women’s group, One Billion Rising, in India celebrated their sixth annual march. The campaign is working to fight back against violence against women and for gender equality in the country.

On this day, Italy gave women across the country free admission to its grand museums and other city spots that “celebrate the feminine world”, allowing women to experience cultural art for and by women across the world.

Ireland’s women activist groups marched across the country to bring attention to Ireland’s Eighth Amendment, “the right to life of the unborn” and their cause to promote women empowerment by repealing the repressive law. “I’ve had four pregnancies, I’ve had four children, so I’m fighting for my rights and for theirs as well. It’s not just about women accessing abortions, but the Eighth Amendment also impacts informed consent, so the moment a woman is pregnant in Ireland she can be overruled about choices for her own body. So it’s not just about abortion but about any decision making,” Dublin activist, Dr. Kate Antosik-Parsons states.

Why These Women Came Out To Protest Ireland’s Abortion Law On International Women’s Day

Women’s rights activists of Lebanon marched outside the Sassine Square to Kaskas Garden of the country’s capital, protesting against the lack of representation in Lebanon’s parliament. The women also gathered to fight against the Lebanese citizenship law that deprives Lebanese mothers the liberty to pass citizenship onto their children if they marry a foreigner, affecting nearly half the country’s women’s population. The march was also held to campaign for higher capital punishments for rape.

In Poland protests outside the headquarters of Law and Justice were to fight for reproductive freedom and speak out against gender discrimination.

Britain’s Department for International Development released a video encouraging women to be bold and fight against gender discrimination by building a prosperous future for themselves and taking on challenges. International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, expresses, “We all know that women are part of the solution; that women’s participation in education, health, politics and peace building increases the chances of a more prosperous and stable future.”

A Day Without a Woman protests were held across the United States, where women across the country took the day off of work and withdrew their economic contributions for the day to bring attention to the wage gap within the female workforce. The day before Women’s Day, State Street Global Advisors placed a bronze statue of a resistant young girl, “Fearless Girl”. With her hands on her hips, gazing a charging bull straight in the face, Fearless Girl is demanding for women leadership on Wall Street.