International Women’s Day (2017)

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Women’s Day should be about women practicing resilience to stave off gender inequality in society

International Women’s Day this year saw a women’s strike pressing governments, organisations to provide women with the opportunity to have a voice, which they have long been deprived of. In New Zealand, the pay gap problem still exists and for the last ten years it has been a staggering 12percent – I think part of the problem lies with the Equal Pay Act, which was passed in 1972 but is still not in practice nationally. This is just one example of the many kind of scenarios, which have been holding women back from progressing towards equal treatment in their particular society.

The origins of Women’s Day lies in New York in 1909, and originally the day was called ‘International Working Women’s Day’. I feel that this moment in time, there is still so much that goes on on a daily basis that need to change: women are often trafficked into sex slavery, forced labour, deliberately not provided with a route to education, denied playing their role in politics and also not allowed to be in control of their own private lives. What particularly baffled me was the gender stereotyping that still continues for certain workforces, in the modern age.

In professions linked to care, for example, which has a very large female workforce there should be no thought prevailing that ‘it is a largely female thing to do’. Women, have for generations been looking after their families, children and their homes, and associated with housework, but the perception that care-related jobs is a natural calling because it is associated with caring is a rather sick point of view. It doesn’t have to have a natural quality nor is it a primarily care-based role – a good example of this would be the early childhood sector which has some stigma surrounding it that caring is all that female workers do and that’s why their job is valueless. Care sector jobs could also have a comfort quality and they should follow the national wage cycle like any other respectable job. Furthermore, care jobs need to have a public perception that they are no different from other workforces, such as those that engineers, journalists and capital markets lawyers make up.

To that note, I want to add: Women’s Day around the world should be about resilience because practicing resilience helps to reach towards your goals in life, whatever they might be. It’s important to fulfill your goals in life because as a woman that is a very satisfying thing to have around. It’s a perfectly respectable thing to do – to work towards your goals in the face of adversity. I have seen a lot of men over the years take decisions which spontaneously made me lose respect for them, in those particular moments, even though I have in the past and continue to admire them, everyday. So, maybe Women’s Day should be looked upon as a celebration of how resilience can bring about the necessary changes required in our society for women. I think that if women are resilient when demanding equal rights, equal pay and equal respect, it should and will bring wonderful results for them everywhere.


Author: Osmi Anannya

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