International Women’s Day – is it still relevant?

International women’s day falls on March 8th each year, but in 2018 is it still relevant? I asked the ladies in our Facebook group of the same name (you can request to join here) what they thought of it. I am genuinely interested in what other people think, and there is no right or wrong answer, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

The first comment was from a friend of mine who was of the opinion it was “complete bollocks!” Fair enough. I think that sometimes all the “days” can dilute the importance and reason why a lot of them exist – to highlight the ongoing struggles and so on. When you have a “pizza day” or “tea day” it might be hard to take another day seriously.

The following comments were very different though:

I’m all for it . Highlighting how far there still is to go in terms of equality can’t be a bad thing . Just keeps the conversation open and I think that’s really important . (My name is Kelly and I’m a feminist!!) – Kelly

Love it! I went to an all girls secondary school and I have vague memories of celebrating it then. Women have suffered so many hardships and prejudices throughout history, some of which we are still working to overcome, that I think it is very important to celebrate our successes.

For example, something that I think about time and time again is FGM and how much of a serious issue it is even today. I think by celebrating women, our achievements and highlighting areas of issue, things like FGM will be discussed and tackled more (obv not just FGM…equality in film and media etc too)
We still have so far to go but it is always good to be aware of our successes. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think we just celebrated 100 years of women having the vote. How bloody amazing! – Lili 

Lili then goes on to say:

Sometimes I do think how privileged I am – though that is only because of the women who came before me. The suffrage’s who fought for the right to vote, the women who were daring enough to put themselves out there in the world of science (often seen as a mans game) and the ladies in my life who have sacrificed the clothes on their backs to give me opportunities I could only dream of.

So yeah, it is nice to take a day to think about the women who didn’t have it so nice and celebrate how far we have come. – Lili

I’m all for it. Yes we have moved toward equality over the last 100 years but we’re still not there. If you consider the whole me too and times up campaigns that just shows until how very recently women, and sometimes children, were considered as unimportant and worthless, some kind of playthings.
As a mum I think it’s important to make sure my kids grow up respecting women, ALL women. I should do it daily but sometimes I let life get on top of me and forget. Having ‘a day’ is good to kick me up the arse  – Anna

I fully support International Women’s Day. There are still so many issues affecting women that we need to be talking more about – maternity discrimination, the gender pay gap, sexual harassment. I’m up for anything that draws attention to these things! – Katie
I support international women’s day. When I was living in the refuge we celebrated it with a party which was a really nice way of recognising how far, as a group of women, we had come and gave us a real chance to look forward to the future and the next steps. It’s important to recognise what has been accomplished over time, a day to support each other and unite in the obstacles we still need to leap over. – Kayleigh
From my point of view I think International Women’s Day is still very relevant. Until we have equality in all areas we must not become complacent which it is so easy to do. I do worry that “days” like these may alienate people, the word “feminism” certainly seems to. I think people are afraid of the word or the connotations, some people get their backs up when anything that is remotely feminist crops up and you can almost hear their eyes rolling in their heads.  But we should not let that deter us from our goal – equality for ALL, not just women! People that don’t like it for whatever reason are entitled to their opinion and we are entitled to ours.
For the record International Men’s Day is 19th November – in case they were feeling left out.

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