International Women’s Day is an empowering day to celebrate the accomplishments of women and girls around the world. It brings to light issues of gender equality that are often forgotten in day to day life. This special day is celebrated worldwide, SUA included. At SUA’s International Women’s Day assembly, students learned about some of the inequalities that women face: ¼ of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, 200 million girls have experienced female genital mutilation and 700 million girls alive today were married under 18 years of age. After hearing these staggering facts, it can be daunting to figure out how to fix these problems and reach gender equality.
Ms. Smith teaches a course called Women American Leaders, more commonly known as Bad Girls and Unruly Women. This class teaches students about the accomplishments of trailblazing women forgotten by history books. Ms. Smith believes that women knowing their history is important, and that when her students “know about the strong women who came before them” they can use their “courage, persistence, and passion to continue what [those women] started.” She adds that “women who refuse to be silent” make the biggest impacts on gender equality. This is why “speaking out against any injustices, big or small, will lead to gender equality.” Ms. Smith also powerfully remarks that we must put an end to systems that “devalue women.”
Karissa Bohme ‘19 is an active member of Feminism Club and adds that “empowering women starts with simple acts.” One of these acts can mean being familiar with the history of women’s rights. Karissa believes this to be important because “when you are educated on the history of inequality, you are more capable of stopping injustices.” She continues: “Once women are recognized for the same accomplishments that men are recognized for, we are closer to equality.” Bohme also believes “educating women is paramount to achieving gender equality.”
Continue the mission of International Women’s Day by speaking out against gender equality and uplifting women around the world. This can be done through supporting female-owned businesses, reading books about influential women, and supporting the women in your day-to-day life.