By Lariena Nokes

In the developed world women have the right to vote, work in any career field they choose, and raise their children as they see proper. These advances make it even more devastating to humanity that in parts of the developing world, women still live as second-class citizens. Women are repressed and kept totally dependent on their male relatives to speak and act for them. They are held in an unnecessary bondage that ignores their potential because of their gender.

International Women’s Day is on March 8, and celebrated world wide with the “Paint it Purple” campaign celebrating women’s achievements and drawing attention to issues that need work.

The purple will be splashed across social media, visible at 153 events in America and at hundreds of events worldwide.

For the last 108 years, countries all over the world have honored the importance of women’s role in society. The Suffragettes marched for voting rights, shorter hours, and better pay.

Now women seek to be equally represented in the boardroom, in business and in education and to maintain the places they have earned and continue to make the world a better place for their children.

The improvements women’s equality has made in the world are remarkable but there is still a long road to march for the women of 2015 worldwide.

The salaries women earn are still not equal to men’s. Women are under-represented in business and politics. Women’s health issues are subject to political debate, and there is more crime against women in relationships and society worldwide. Women still have valid reasons to observe International Women’s Day.

For the women in the developing world, the fight for civil rights remains important. They have the potential to be educated and to develop their personal talents and improve the world, what they lack is the chance to meet their full potential.

What Middle Eastern expectations falsely call honor is an excuse to brutalize. Following the lead of Malala Yousafzai, of Pakistan, these outdated, crude ideas need to be forgotten and girls need to receive a sound education worldwide.

Do your part to Paint It Purple and support the women who have made a difference in your life and in the world. Step out proudly in purple and celebrate all the potential you have as a woman in our world today. Celebrate how much you can do to make it a better place for women all over the world.

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