Do you celebrate International Women’s Day? This year March 8th is the day. A day to remind us that gender has been used to justify abuse for centuries. It is sad we must have such a day across the world and in the United States. It takes hard work to forge a gender equal world. To remind us all that an inclusive world is a world of respect and kindness and diversity.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Choose to Challenge. It asks that we all be alert to and challenge gender bias.
We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.Internationalwomensday.org
Anisa Nandaula’s spoken poem about the theme is short and powerful. Take a listen.
We who are privileged to live in a society with freedom of speech can choose to speak up or remain quiet. Speaking out isn’t comfortable. But we need to remember that our current freedoms came because someone challenged the status quo—challenge common beliefs. Because someone stood up and said no, that’s not the way it has to be.
What Does a Gender Equal World Look Like?
Did you know that there are languages that are gender neutral? They have pronouns that refer to a specific gender such as him and her, but their words have no gender assigned to them. English is a gender neutral language. Most nouns, adjectives, and pronouns are not gender specific. Other languages have as many as three genders and a few have twenty. And why not? Our world is wonderfully diverse. From daisies to Venus flytraps and giraffes to flamingos, diversity makes our world beautiful.
In the gender equal world I envision, we would deny no one basic human rights based on gender. No one would be abused due to gender. The world would embrace all genders and be gender neutral. Not the connotation of neutral that means none, but the kind of neutral that doesn’t rank or mistreat or reward a person based on their gender. One that doesn’t assign anyone a gender but allows us to express our gender openly and without prejudice. A gender equality where every person has the right to choose their own destiny regardless of gender. An equality that celebrates our diversity. The kind in which no sex trafficking, or child brides, or domestic abuse exist. The kind where posts like mine about strong women aren’t necessary because we live in a gender equal world.
Help Forge a Gender Equal World
Women have had decades of challenging the beliefs that hold them back. And there is a long way to go to be equal. We have a choice. Be silent or challenge. Challenge notions that the female gender means weak or less than.
We celebrate International Women’s Day because the spotlight needs to shine on abuses women endure. Does that mean we only challenge injustices for women? No. To forge a gender equal world, we cannot deny or question another’s rights based on gender. To forge a gender equal world we must #choosetochallenge all gender bias and abuse. And someday in a gender equal world, our diversity will be our astonishing beauty and our greatest strength.