“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai
The International Women’s Day is celebrated to facilitate women and their achievements every year on the 8th of March. Women have come a long way in their struggle for equality, but there is still a long distance to cover. This year, the theme for Women’s Day is ‘Be Bold For Change.’ It encourages advocacy for women’s advancement everywhere in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for women’s equality and vigilance inspiring positive change.
My biggest question however is, is the possibility of a political solidarity of feminists across the globe that transcends class, race, sexuality and national boundaries realistic? Is the utopic idea of a “global sisterhood” possible? Women’s equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal. International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action. In other words it fails to bring about social change for some groups especially women of color. Yes, we go about on March 8 together with the rest of the top class women in the upper class talking about the rights but truth be told we are fighting different wars. Because after March 8 we still have to work twice as hard for survival, rear our kids ourselves without the help of the nannies and maids and worship our husbands so they don’t leave us.
Yes, women from all different walks of life have been brought together by these events. Yes, these networks have been at the forefront of challenging corporate globalization and feminization of labor. Yes, it has pioneered strategies for articulating autonomous spaces as shown in projects such as feminist dialogues. So why are we still unequal? As Africans how do we engage in such a war when we have poverty, war, early child marriages and health issues on our doorstep? As women of color what is our gain in all of this? Will we ever be equal?
These questions can only be answered by this year’s theme: BE BOLD FOR CHANGE. This 2017 we cant still be crying foul because of our circumstances and not do anything about it. As Michelle Obama has shown us, there is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish. Each one of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity, be it in the workplace, the society we live in or the socialization of the millennials. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies all over the world. Time has come to not be comfortable with our status quo but to be bold and acquire the change we yearn for irregardless of age, color, background and circumstance!