Celebrating Women This March

Women have had to overcome treacherous obstacles over the course of history, and they continue to endure challenges to this day. They have been portrayed in a variety of stereotypes, being degraded for anything and everything they do. If a woman were to call out a fellow co-worker, friend, or classmate, she might be judged as aggressive or overdramatic. However, if a man were to call someone out, he might be regarded as brave and heroic. This sexist behavior has taken root in society and is the reason so many women are still fighting for the respect they deserve.

Millions of court cases and trials have proved that women’s voices are not only not being heard–but also being ignored. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website (NSRVC.org), one in every five women has dealt with sexual assault at least once in her lifetime. This statistic is based on only the cases that have been reported. Junior Eliza Fucci explained, “I believe society has a responsibility to educate young boys about this issue to prevent it in the future.” Women are often afraid to speak up against their abuser either because they will be ignored or it will progressively get worse. “I think that girls and women should feel comfortable to report assault without facing stigma,” Fucci added. Personally, I have had to watch my own mother,  a lawyer, spend countless hours on cases involving women not being respected in their own work. Women are the ones who have been fighting for their own rights since the 19th century; and even after all their hard work and dedication, they are still not getting treated correctly.

Nevertheless, there have been countless women throughout history who have paved the way for women today. Susan B. Anthony was a women’s rights activist for the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the 1800s. Anthony’s persistence, even with all the obstacles thrown at her, is the reason women have the right to vote now. She fought so hard for countless years to make a change in our world. More recently in history, Malala Yousufzai is a women’s education activist who has devoted her life to ensure that women and children have the rights to attend school and receive an education. “Malala has influenced many women and people in general around the world to fight for equal rights and opportunities for women, which is very important for future generations to follow,” emphasized junior Alexandra Ioannou. Yousufzai persisted in advocating for women and their education, even after she was shot by a Taliban terrorist in 2012. This perseverance led her to being named 2014’s Nobel Peace Prize winner. Despite all the barriers that have been put up against women, they have proven time and time again that they are stronger than any barrier or obstacle thrown at them.

Additionally, the pay gap between men and women has been an on-going issue since the 1860s; women participated in a rally called “Equal Pay for Equal Work.” This conflict had first begun when women were not allowed to do the jobs that “only men can do”; instead, they were forced to take on the stereotypical housewife role–caring for their children and doing housework. Consequently, this mistreatment towards women years ago led men to believe that women were not capable of doing anything outside of their family and house. However, this has clearly been proven untrue by the countless achievements women have made in history, like inventing the dishwasher, fire escapes, and so forth. Despite the success of women even after men did not believe in them, their pay still has not shown the equality between the two. Dea Pulatani, junior and president of the Girl Up club, expressed, “The stigma behind the idea [that] men can do a better job than women in all or many areas is unethical and sickening.” As shown by the National Public Radio (NPR.org), it has been calculated that for every dollar a man makes, a woman only makes 82 cents, and that number is even smaller for Black and Latina women. The inequality between men and women is almost unimaginable to dream of, even though it is reality.

Women are strong, gifted, and intelligent people who deserve the respect and credit that men receive on a daily basis. Women have had to fight for everything that we now have. Moreover, government officials and leaders have ignored women for centuries. “American civilians and politicians continuously try and prove themselves to be fair and equal, and this topic has never been addressed to the extent it should be,” Pulatani claimed.  Considering all the injustice women still face today, it is important to remember that March is the month to celebrate and appreciate all that women have done and are doing for our world.