International Women’s Day 2014

Hey there fashion lovers!
Today is International Women’s Day! I don’t normally post on Saturdays but I thought I couldn’t let this day pass without doing a blog post on it. I think that a lot of people have misconceptions about what International Women’s day is about and I’ve heard on many an occasion remarks such as “why don’t men get an International Men’s Day?”. Celebrating women in the present day, looking back at how far we’ve come and also realising the things that still need to be addressed are all reasons why celebrating this day and getting as many people involved as possible is important.

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“In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth women are not merely tolerated but valued”

Many people see no need for International Women’s day anymore – we’ve got equality, right? WRONG. Here in Western countries we may not be fighting for our right to vote, to own a property or to terminate a pregnancy but there’s a long way to go for both Western countries and the rest of the world – the statistics are shocking.

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“When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch”

There’s so many amazing women in history which should (and are) being celebrated around the world. These women have gone against what was the norm and many risked and even sacrificed their lives for what we now have and take for granted every day. We also have women in the present day who show that women are as strong as ever. From women running countries, top businesses, and doing jobs which have been stereo typically labelled as ‘mens jobs’.

“No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother”

There’s lots of reasons why we should celebrate Women’s day and I believe the most important reason is to discuss and realise the change that is still needed. Unfortunately there’s a scarily long way to go to ‘equality’ around the World. Violence is a staggeringly big issue within both the UK and globally. Worringly 44% of all women in the UK have been at the end of either physical or sexual violence since the age of 15. If we take a more wider view of the violence to women it is reported that about one in three women will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. That’s extremely scary and something which probably isn’t that well known (I certainly didn’t realise these figures were so high).

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“In Pakistan, when we were stopped from going to school, at that time I realised that education… is the power for women, and that’s why the terrorists are afraid of it.”

Unfortunately another big problem which is being tackled (yet has a very long way to go) is female genital mutilation. I can’t even explain to you exactly what happens because it’s graphic and something which makes me absolutely disgusted/furious/angry the list goes on. You’d have thought this doesn’t go on anywhere near where we live and that it wouldn’t affect us (I use ‘us’ as in people from Westernised countries) but again this goes on right at our doorstep. Roughly 24,000 girls in the UK are at risk of female genital mutilation

“A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience”

Marriage is probably the biggest most talked about issue surrounding the differences and disadvantages of women compared to men. In 10 countries marriage still means that women are legally bound to obey their husbands. Arranged marriages take place frequently with girls as young as eight being married to boys and even men over 20 years their senior. There has been a great deal of media attention on this problem and lots of things are being done to tackle this issue. I think it’s just so easy when you’re sitting in a country where you’re somewhat protected against arranged marriage to forget what over 14 million girls across the world have to suffer.

However most definitely the biggest difference (in the UK) between men and women come with the gap between wages. On average women earn £5,000 less than men a year – that’s a 15% difference in wages compared to their male colleagues.

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The biggest problem I see is not the terrible things which are still happening to women to this day (don’t get me wrong, tackling these issues are vital) but the lack of knowledge that our generation have of the past. People have fought for the choices we have today so it seems crazy to not use them. Being allowed to vote was a MASSIVE struggle to overcome for our ancestors now that we have got that power I find it somewhat insulting that people choose not to use it. The same comes from girls and women who dis-respect themselves and their body, deciding things are easier if you let a man do it or make the decisions for you.

It’s now left to our generation to continue the fight for equality and ensure that women globally are treated with the respect they deserve and given the help they need. I hope our whole generation can stand united and say that what’s happening is wrong and we will do our upmost to make sure both men and women can live equally.

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Figures, facts and statistics have been used from the Independent website in which they wrote an AMAZING article – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/international-womens-day-2014-the-shocking-statistics-that-show-why-it-is-still-so-important-9177211.html

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