By Branson Strasner
International Women’s Day is a holiday celebrated in much of the world, primarily in Russia and its surrounding countries.
The American Socialist Party first observed the holiday in 1908 and it has since spread through other socialist movements throughout Russia, China, Cuba and other smaller countries.
These oppressive governments may have used the holiday as propaganda to make women feel better about themselves, and ignore the problems they were facing.
In order to garner attention for the feminist movement, Americans have begun celebrating it in recent years.
It was officially declared a United Nations holiday in 1977.
What’s really humorous about the idea of this holiday is that in the countries that celebrate it, women are far from having equal rights. “Go women! 84 cents to the dollar! Woo-hoo!” That’s definitely something worth celebrating.
In fact, the theme for International Women’s Day this year was “50/50 by 2030” all about aiming to close the wage gap by the year 2030.
Past themes include “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future”, “Gender Equality Beyond 2005; Building a More Secure Future”, and “Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts.”
Looks like all that planning has really come to fruition with so many women still being beaten, killed, and sold into slavery all over the world.
The theme in 2013 was “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women”.
That must have been the breaking point for domestic violence. After years of being beaten, 2013 was finally the time to end violence against women.
While the holiday meant well, it hasn’t really accomplished anything.
This is especially true in countries that officially celebrate it, such as China, where female babies just mysteriously disappear because the parents would rather have a boy.
Or Nepal, where unmarried young women are sold to sex traffickers and widowed women are labeled as witches.
Or worst of all, Afghanistan, where over 87% of women face domestic violence, and the average woman’s life span is only 45 years.
All of these problems in the world, and there are so many women that celebrate International Women’s Day that do nothing to change the conditions these women face.
It’s rather similar to people who stick breast cancer awareness ribbons everywhere they can, but have never actually made a donation.
In order to make a change, it takes more than just being aware of a problem, or putting on a bumper sticker.
It requires work and dedication on the part of everyone involved. While that change won’t happen overnight, getting people to actively take part rather than just showing support is a big first step.