Don’t buy us flowers
Don’t buy us flowers
On the 8th of March we celebrated International Women’s Day. Many might have seen the Instagram posts and flower-gifts, but this day represents so much more. A rollercoaster of a day, full of highs and lows, happiness for how powerful the celebrations were mixed with the stale taste of how desperately we still need this day to happen.
It originated as part of the labour and voting rights movements in 1910 when Clara Zetkin, a German communist/socialist and women’s rights activist, proposed the idea of an international day at a conference. Since then, the International Women’s Day has been celebrated all over the world, each year committed to a different topic – this year it is (funnily enough) #EmbraceEquity, the attempt to get people to think about why “equal opportunities are no longer enough” – we need equity in nowadays’ society. It is not enough to give men, women, and everybody else the same tools to make it work, we need to create adequate, equity-based ways of supporting each and everyone in the best way.
On the International Women’s Day page, they talk about the following metaphor. Two kids ask for fruit, so the nanny goes to the fruit bowl and picks out two apples. However, before she hands them over to the kids, she remembers that one of them is allergic to apples – so she exchanges the one apple for a banana. The kids both get a piece of fruit in the end – it is just different.
Which is exactly what this is all about. Equal opportunities won’t create an equal level for people to see eye to eye. We need a world where women are actively promoted and supported in all aspects of their life. And before anybody comes at me for saying that then men will be disadvantaged – no. This fight is not about making men inferior to women – but it is about everything else. This is about finally creating an environment where equity can exist. No blog post in this world would have enough room to stress the importance of this fight. There has been so much work done in the last decades – fearless women fighting doggedly to just get that little bit of change going. It is so unbelievably heart-warming and -breaking to see what women had to fight for in the past to just end up in a world that is still tailored to men. Let it be health, education, work – you name it – the majority of today’s society is still made for men.
Something important here is that I do not want to point fingers. This is neither about me finding people to hold responsible nor making anybody feel bad. This all is just to raise awareness about this indispensable day. To just make you think about it.
However, if all this isn’t enough to convince you, sometimes numbers say more than enough: According to the United Nations, 70% (seventy!) of the world’s population that lives in poverty, are women. They only have three quarters of the legal rights afforded to men. Lastly, more than two thirds of the world’s illiterate people are women.
This is just a tiny fragment of the huge extent to which women still face inequality in this world.
I know how hard it seems to grasp this living in a developed country, but these are not just random statements – this is what is happening right now around the world.
So don’t tell me that we don’t need women’s day or that “women are not even that inferior in today’s society”. And don’t buy us flowers to show affection and support, we can do that ourselves. Instead, choose to support us when it counts. Inform yourself and raise awareness about this issue. There has been a lot of positive change – but not nearly enough. And as long as this is the case, women and everybody that stands with them will be fighting so that one day there might be real equity – not just equality.