International Women’s Day … so what?

I don’t know what International Women’s Day means. March 8th around the world. So what? Does it mean that for one day only, on March 8th, men should not strike, beat, strangle or kill a woman? In France: only 90 women were killed in 2020, 56 less than in 2019. Only 90 women killed – is that a number to be proud of? That’s 90 too many! Two-thirds of those deaths, leaving behind traumatized orphans and broken families, could have been avoided. Femicide: the killing of females by males because they are female. 

Does it mean that for one day only, on March 8th, forced marriages and FGM (female genital mutilation) should stop?

Does it mean that for one day only women’s sanitary products (tampons and other products, classed as ‘luxury’ and ‘non-essential’) should not be taxed? Non-essential? After pulling out of the E.U. (European Union), the U.K. detaxed sanitary products in January 2021.

Does it mean that for one day only men should pay women a higher salary? Women earn 77.9 cents for every dollar earned by men.

Does it mean that for one day only men should stop harassing women in the street, office and elsewhere? Women the world over face sexual and non-sexual harassment in the workplace which range from unwelcome verbal, visual, non-verbal or physical harassment.

75% of women who find themselves subject to hostile situations in the workplace do not report their harassment for fear of being fired. People often ask “why did the victim not report?” I know, because it happened to me on more than one occasion. I found myself out on the street and unemployed for no other reason than I was harassed (one of my harasser’s was a female senior lawyer.) When I reported my tormenter’s actions to HR, they were utterly untrained and clueless as to how to treat harassment cases. “Just get rid of her” seemed the easiest option for those involved.

Does it mean that for one day only employers should put an end to Maternity Discrimination? The Guardian reports that over 50,000 women lose their jobs over pregnancy discrimination.

I guess my point is – why haven’t we, in 2021, repaired these injustices? Why have we not detoxified our societies of damages and discrimination toward women? The photo below, showing one of the biggest contaminators, is one explanation why.

Most of the above refers to First World “advanced” nations. I shudder to think what women in Second and Third World countries go through.

Let me share with you a chilling photograph that iced women’s blood around the world, including my own. This is what patriarchy, misdirected power and misogyny look like. In other words, a horror show.

The Trump administration rolled back important women’s rights protections with an executive order that enabled more employers and insurers to assert objections to the contraceptive coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

This photo sums up Trump’s assault on women’s rights

from an article written by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett (The Guardian)

Look at these men. Look at them. Gathered around the most powerful man in the world – a man who has openly bragged of sexual assault, who refers to a vulva as a woman’s “wherever” – as he signs away the reproductive rights of women in developing countries. 
The stupidity of the blinkered, religiously motivated agenda on display here is that no matter what legislation these men implement, they will never succeed in banning abortion, per se, only safe, legal abortion. As a result of the reimposition of the global gag order, the loss of their services alone could result in 6.5m unintended pregnancies during Trump’s first term, 2.1m unsafe abortions, and 21,700 maternal deaths. In passing this law, these patriarchs have fathered millions of unwanted children, helping to create lives that could very well turn out to be painful and potentially motherless.
Nothing quite says powerlessness like the removal of your right to bodily autonomy, at the behest of a group of people who will never – can never – know what that feels like. There’s a reason women are using the word patriarchy again, that it featured on so many signs during the Women’s Marches: if you are emasculated by the notion of a woman making her own reproductive choices, then you were never much of a man to begin with.

I matter. I matter equally. Not ‘if only,’ not ‘as long as’. I matter. Full stop. Chimamanda Adichie, Nigerian writer

6 thoughts on “International Women’s Day … so what?

  1. A horror show indeed. Had Trump been re-elected I would’ve moved to Canada. Love your blog posts. Oh, and Happy Women’s Day!

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