This blog post was originally published by Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC Action Fund. We are now Planned Parenthood Advocates for DC, Maryland & NoVa.
Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day by acknowledging the progress made and obstacles that remain in advancing women’s equality. Yes, IWD is a global celebration of the economic, cultural and political contributions of all you badass women around the world, but it is also a call to action to accelerate gender parity.
We are living in an incredibly significant moment of history where more women than ever are mobilizing for equality across the globe! Now is the time to act by joining the movement, starting conversations, and working hard every day to inspire change in your community.
She couldn’t have said it better, right?
A Little Bit of History:
The first International Women’s Day took place in 1911 and was celebrated in only four countries (Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland). The day was created to honor women’s rights and was recognized by almost a million folks who took to the streets to rally for universal suffrage, the right to hold office, and the right to equal pay.
Fast forward to 2018, IWD is now celebrated in over one hundred countries!!
Where we are now is due to decades of strong women and the power of organizing. Let’s pause and take a moment to pay our respects to the original pink hat-wearing, door-kicking, barrier-breaking, nasty women.
Why We Can’t Give Up The Fight:
Yes, we have come a long way, but women’s rights are still under attack across the globe.
In the past two years, Planned Parenthood has seen some of the most brutal attacks on reproductive health care and women’s rights in decades. This administration really is the worst we’ve seen in a generation: From limiting access to birth control to reinstating an expanded version of the Global Gag Rule to denying detained immigrant teenagers abortion care, it seems President Trump’s administration will stop at nothing to roll back reproductive rights.
And so, the resistance continues.
We are inspired by the millions of women who marched, voiced their dissent, and bravely persisted as our elected officials continuously threatened to take away reproductive rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, trans rights, and women’s rights.
It is our collective voice that makes a difference. It is the voice of Emma Gonzalez, an 18-year-old bisexual Latinx girl who has sparked a movement against gun violence that simply feels different this time. It is the voice of Andrea Jenkins, the first openly transgender black woman elected to public office, who is working to make policies and start conversations that ensure equity for transgender folks. And it is the voice of Cecile Richards, the fearless leader of Planned Parenthood who reminds us it is our shared responsibility to keep resisting, because when we work together, “women are the most powerful, political force in America.”
It’s time to stand up, fight back: to end sexual assault; to be paid the same as men; to have affordable health insurance; to have access to comprehensive reproductive health care, whether you’re held in immigrant detention or not; to have access to birth control when you need it; to be able to raise a family in communities and schools free from gun violence; to have the choice to decide what to do with your own body;
and to advocate for the rights of all folks.
It’s important to celebrate the progress, but IWD serves as a reminder that it is up to us--to you, to me--to advance global equality.