By: Rachel Auslander
March 8th was International Women’s Day! This day was just as important as the International Day of the Girl in October. This year’s theme for the day is ‘Make It Happen’, which is a statement that will hopefully serve as a call to action for everyone to create gender equality around the world. It’s time!!!!! This past year, both women and men have taken to social networks (mainly Twitter) using hashtags like #yesallwomen, #likeagirl, #heforshe, #bringbackourgirls and created a broad online discussion about many issues faced by women around the world.
However, as important as discussion is, action needs to be taken. Equality for women and girls is needed NOW. There’s no time like the present to create gender equality, which is long overdue. A group called Women on 20’s seeks to put a female leader on the $20 bill in the near future. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation launched the Not There campaign, which seeks to publicly demonstrate that gender equality is “not there yet” by eliminating pictures of women from magazine covers and ads. The powerful promotional video consists of shots of empty rooms and blank ads, with the voices of famous women explaining the current state of gender equality. The website has a great data map and tons of statistics to look at and share! UN Women is launching ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality’ to ask governments to address the challenges faced by women around the world within the next 15 years. Action/2015 seeks for action to be taken in 2015 at global summits to end inequality, poverty, and climate change.
International Women’s Day was promoted all over the Internet, with Emma Watson, the UN Goodwill ambassador, holding a livestream of a discussion about HeForShe. Women’s Day trended on Twitter, along with #IWD2015, #InternationalWomensDay, and #HappyWomensDay. Google created a Google Doodle to honor International Women’s Day, displaying women in many different professions: a scientist, painter, astronaut, athlete, chef, musician, and computer programmer, just to name a few.
The current world situation for women and girls is not good enough. Despite the progress that has been made, child marriage is still unacceptably high, girls still cannot go to school everywhere, maternity leave is still not universal, and many other problems still exist. The global community is striving to make equality happen by discussing the issues, raising awareness, and taking action, so the future looks bright for women and girls around the world.