March 8 is here, a day that has been celebrated for the past 106 years. Some of you might not have even known it exists, but it’s basically a day jam packed with girl power and appreciation – International Women’s Day.
So why is it important? Simple; women’s achievements have been masked by ethnic, economic, and political divisions. These divisions were and are polarizing, and we still have a long way to go.
IWD is a day where women are recognized for all of their progression and success without regard of the divisions that have held them back, and to accelerate gender equality.
Plus, there are some pretty great achievements that women have made this past year. Here are a few that broke through cultural expectations:
Balkissa Chaibou is a 16 year old from Niger who wanted to be a doctor but her family wanted her to marry her cousin. She realized that if this happened her dream would be terminated, so she got in contact with Judicial Assistance and Civic Action and took legal action against her family’s plan. Her uncle lied about the accusations and then threatened to kill Chaibou. She then took refuge in a women’s shelter. She now goes to schools and talks about forced marriage.
Marley Dias is an 11 year old who started her #1000blackgirlbooks campaign because she didn’t relate to the books she read in school. At 11 years old, she has been campaigning to promote diversity in children’s literature.
Negin Khpalwak is a 19-year-old who fights the Taliban with music. She conducts the first all women Afghan orchestra. She and the ensemble risk their lives, because playing instruments was banned under the Taliban rule. Even her male family members threatened to beat her for performing on television.
“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” – Gloria Steinem.
So let’s support the women of the world and #BeBoldForChange.