Happy International Women’s Day everyone. It’s a weird one. I wanted to make a short post today to discuss who we should be supporting on IWD this year. Let’s firstly take care of one thing: IWD is for women, both cis and trans, as well as our non-binary friends. To celebrate women is to celebrate in an intersectional way, meaning that we are inclusive of race, size, age, socio-economic status, sex worker status, sexuality, trans-inclusive, recognising ableist behaviours and searching for ways that we can improve the lives of women and non-binary people in the year to come.
Just today, the news is full of Meghan Markle, slating her, accusing her, denying her story, you name it. On Good Morning Britain, Piers Morgan argued about the existence of institutional and systemic racism with Chaka Khan and Trisha Goddard, maintaining that the British Royal Family couldn’t possibly be racist.
International Women’s Day is also a time to consider all of the hardworking individuals of the NHS who have been awarded a paltry 1% pay rise, whilst Tory cabinet ministers have given themselves a 40% increase (yes, I’m looking at you, Dominic Cummings).
On the topic of government failings, British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe remains in Iran after being imprisoned there on false charges for 5 years due to the British government refusing to pay Iran the debt they owed of £400 million. This woman is a pawn in governmental proceedings, which could have easily been solved 5 years ago if racism and sexism weren’t such huge factors in her case.
Injustices for women and non binary people exist all over the globe, and very few stories are ever publicised. There is a genocide in China, women in Eswatini are desperately trying to fight the HIV crisis there, and in India, a r*pist is being offered the chance to marry his victim in order to avoid punishment.
International Women’s Day is not just for the wealthy, cis-gendered, straight, thin, white women, but for the global population of individuals that don’t fit into any of those descriptions. Women hold so much power, so much pressure and so much responsibility, despite oftentimes having fewer rights, less social mobility and less freedom. Use today to think beyond your own status and find a way to amplify the voices of these women and non-binary people, either through donating to charities, sharing their stories on social media to raise awareness, or expanding your own horizons by seeking out opportunities to learn.
Stay safe, stay happy, and have a great International Women’s Day!