The Relevance of Gender Equality: Reflections on International Women’s Day

By Elizabeth Raggel Aochamus |

International Women’s Day is a worldwide celebration of women’s political, economic, cultural, and social achievements.

For the first five years it was celebrated on February 28, but in 1913 to 1914 it was moved to March 8, on which it has been celebrated until today.

American social activist and journalist Gloria Steinem believes that women’s fight for equality is a collective effort and that International Women’s Day is a day of celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.

The women’s day began as a wave of warning around the world, calling attention to the stigma faced by women fighting for their rightful place in workplaces across the West. Soon enough the spirit of the day spread across the world, becoming a very beautiful memory of a woman’s journey to fight for equality and earn respect as a human being, particularly the fight for and celebration of gender equality.

Due to the significance of this day, the day has been going on for over a century and it’s getting bigger and stronger every year.

In our society, the role of women is very important not only in politics, but also in the family. Women play an important role in raising a family and developing the minds of children.

Nonetheless, women are marginalized, and in the past societies they were considered as unworthy of bearing any responsibility outside the home apart from the agricultural fields where women worked hard to produce food for their households.

Even today, it’s a long run in the women’s struggle and campaign for gender equality, and women’s rights, and equal rights to opportunities for education and career advancement since for centuries they were only expected to be inside their homes doing all the household chores alone.

Their voices were not even given the importance in all aspects of society, making it difficult to have an education, and get into politics, medical field, and other fields. With the new age we are living in women are taking charge of themselves, and occupying the digital world, becoming data scientists, programmers, and developers.

Women now have the courage to be themselves, free from oppression, fear, and patriarchy. Thus this International Women’s Day has been celebrating the achievements of women, and their contributions to the world since its inception.

Nevertheless, we must recognize and thank honourable men for acting maturely, and actively supporting us in maintaining and celebrating the 8th of March every year.

We are women, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

– Elizabeth Raggel Aochamus is a social and equal rights activist, Students Union of Namibia (SUN) NEC member, and student of public management & political science at the University of Namibia.