March

As we celebrate the International Women’s Day, we must reflect upon the challenges many women and girls face around the globe

International Women’s March

Whether a Rohingya refugee or a famous actress in Hollywood, being a woman requires an extra level of resistance and hope. The last few years have opened many eyes on the situation of women around the world, especially concerning sexual harassment and the fragility of the gender equality speech when it comes to true representation and parity on the work field.

Yet, we have much more to accomplish. Here are a few numbers from UN Women to consider: 1 in 3 women experience violence in their lifetime; 830 women die every day from preventable pregnancy-related causes; and only 1 in 4 parliamentarians worldwide are women. It will be 2086 before we close the gender pay gap if present trends continue with no action.

What can we do as a society to accelerate equality in our world? Awareness campaigns surely help, as #MeToo and many other hashtags spread the message that we are equal in our experiences and concerns. We’ve learned that feminism is not the opposite of sexism, it’s solely the true hope to be equal in a broad, respectful way. Marches around the world passed the message that we, as women, own our bodies, our choices, our sexuality. That we must be heard and respected. But is it enough?

The new International Women’s Day theme this year is «Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Womens’ Lives». It celebrates strong, fearless activists whose work is key to all the transformations we’re witnessing as a society. More important than being a voice, they are role models for our girls and boys, the next generations that will hopefully put their message into practice. Activism is key, and female activism is the remedy to invisibility.

Despite a long history of prejudice and ignorance, these women are getting their voices increasingly heard. From Malala Yousafzai, who’s shown that education matters for girls, to Amal Clooney, who was brave enough to be the first lawyer to sue ISIS for its crimes, to Noriko Mitsui, Horyou ambassador to Japan, whose work for social good has been recognized by members of the US Congress and its Multi Ethnic Advisory Task Force which ranked her among the Top 20 Women of Global Excellence. To mothers, waitresses, teachers, housewives, who fight against poverty, prejudice and domestic violence.

Many of them might not be able to march. I’m marching for them, though. I want to resonate their voices. Because #Timesup to be silent.

Written by Vívian Soares

Horyou supports the SDG5, which aims to empower women and girls for gender equality. You can be part of it too either by supporting one of Horyou organizations which work for this SDG or by participating in the Horyou Light Challenge, that aims to raise awareness of gender equality. Be the change, be Horyou!

Women's History Month

Written by Tonimarie Illuzzi

The month of March is recognized as Women’s History Month in the United States. It is important as American citizens that we take the time to remember the women in history who have fought tirelessly for their freedom, bettering our democratic nation.

According to the United States Census Bureau, “National Women’s History Month’s roots go back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909, but it wasn’t until 1981 that Congress established National Women’s History Week to be commemorated the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month.”

As a result of Congress declaring March as Women’s History Month, the president issues a proclamation every year. This year, President Barack Obama stated: “We know that when women succeed, America succeeds. The strength of our economy rests on whether we make it possible for every citizen to contribute to our growth and prosperity. As we honor the many patriots who have shaped not only the destinies of other women but also the direction of our history, let us resolve to build on their efforts in our own time. As a nation, we must join our voices with the chorus of history and push forward with unyielding faith to forge a more equal society for all our daughters and granddaughters – one where a woman’s potential is limited only by the size of her dreams and the power of her imagination.”

Today, we continue to honor the women who have stood up for equality throughout our nation’s history. From successful businesswomen to hardworking stay-at-home moms, all women in America were influenced by the courageous actions of those before us to do great in this world. With whatever gift they may possess, whether it is grace and beauty, intellect and wit or love and patience, women have the potential to positively change the lives of those around them.

As we move forward through March and continue with our daily routines, let’s remember why we are where we are, and who led us here. Give thanks to the female heroes, past and present, for bringing us the confidence to progress and pass along our success to the future generations of America.

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