For the past 100 years, International Women’s Day has been celebrated on March 8th in the UK, US, and Australia. Many other nations including Russia, Moldova and Denmark acknowledge women’s influence and importance on March 19th.
Regardless of the date, International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, political, and cultural achievements of women from the past and present. Influential women can be found across nations, no matter their social class nor the economic status of their county.
Women have influenced first world nations. Ana Howard Shaw was from England and grew up in New York in the early 1900s. She was one of numerous men and women fighting for women’s right to vote in the United States. In her speech called “The Fundamental Principle of a Republic,” she made arguments regarding the value of both genders, reinforcing the fact that there would be no society without men nor would there be one without women. Therefore, we all benefit when both men and women help society grow through their different perspectives.
Women have influenced the world from developing countries. In 1992 Rigoberta Menchú Tum was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize because of her activism for the equality of indigenous populations. This activism led to the peace accord in Guatemala that ended this nation’s 36-year-long civil war. Menchú Tum’s tragic family and education struggles led her to become the woman she is today and has impacted the rights of indigenous communities globally. Luckily, we still have individuals such as Menchú Tum who will fight to magnify peace, justice and equality in the world.
It doesn’t matter what sphere you belong to, you have a voice and the ability to change the lives around you. Like Shaw said, it is clear that society would not function without both men and women, lets continue to strive to let individual voices be heard. Like Menchú Tum, it doesn’t matter where you are from; your struggles and hardships have shaped you into the person you are today, and your story could help people around the world gain their voices.
International Women’s Day
is a reminder of how unlikely individuals have – and continue to – shape the world around them. Praise the women in your life for their influence and achievements, your life would be very different without them.