By Lila Nolan, Staff Writer
On Monday, March 8, women across the world were celebrated, empowered and uplifted on International Women’s Day.
International Women’s Day is a historically important global day recognized to celebrate the economic, cultural, societal and political achievements of women. This day also acts as a reminder and call to action for gender parity. On this day, there is significant activity around the world where many diverse groups of people come together to celebrate all of the historical achievements women have contributed to our society as well as rallying for women’s equality.
March 1, marked the beginning of Women’s History Month. All month long, we are reminded and honor the overlooked contributions women have made to history. In 1911, International Women’s Day originated to celebrate women, but the idea to highlight women for an entire month was officiated and signed by Congress in 1987. Since then, all March long we commemorate all women and all they do.
In today’s society, women are no stranger to derogatory remarks and discriminating treatment. This is one of the many reasons that International Women’s Day holds such an important status. As time goes on, women are feeling more empowered to use their voices and that has sparked a revolution for equality. A worldwide day of anti descrimation such as International Women’s Day has been recognized as a beacon of hope for many women and their allies.
“Women are capable of anything they desire and are constantly made to feel less than enough. Women tear women down, men tear women down, society tears women down, but on this day, we are reminded of all the possibilities that lie ahead,” junior musical theatre major Kassandra Popcevski said. “We are reminded of our strength, grace, courage and womanhood. We are reminded that the sky’s the limit.”
As times and the society we live in change, the way we celebrate International Women’s Day has evolved as well. This year, many social media apps participated in this uplifting day by creating special filters, hashtags and fun activities for users to participate in. In this technological age, these methods of celebration were received and greatly appreciated by all users. This allowed users of any gender to feel included and excited about the chance to recognize such an inspiring day.
In honor of International Women’s Day every March, users create hashtags to highlight the themes and overall ideas of this worldwide day of acknowledgment. This year, one of the most used viral hashtags across all platforms was #ChooseToChallenge. This hashtags relates directly to the International Women’s Day 2021 mission statement that “A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all choose to challenge.”
After years of change, evolution and societal growth, International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month are here to also remind us of how much more growth we must do as a society to embark on a better future. Women are to be celebrated for their achievements, encouraged to be whatever they want to be, and accepted for who they are. The toxic societal roles are being eliminated as optimistic voices of hope and change emerge into the conversation. Junior musical theatre major Kassandra Popcevski said,
“Being a woman isn’t just one thing, it’s anything that you desire to be and more. I can be strong and courageous but I can also be delicate and graceful. I can be respectful and uplifting but I can also say no,” junior musical theatre major Kassandra Popcevski said. “For so long I thought I only had one choice, one way of being a woman, but as I’ve grown I’ve realized there’s so much more to it than I thought possible. International Women’s Day reminds me of the power I hold and it encourages me to be proud of who I am and to shoot for the stars.”
In today’s complex society of change, confusion and justice driven movements, International Women’s Day is here to acknowledge the past. It is here to not only celebrate empowered women, but to remind us of the injustices women still struggle with and the changes that still need to be made.