Women. We account for just about half of the world’s population. And each March since 1911, International Women’s Day has called on the rest of the world to recognize and celebrate us for our achievements.
The theme this year is #BalanceForBetter, a campaign that fights for a “gender balanced world.” Events focused on women’s rights, liberation and accomplishments are happening across the world, from Washington, D.C. to Karachi, Pakistan, and Lisboa, Portugal.
But what does International Women’s Day mean to students here on campus?
For some, it serves as a reminder of the oppression women still face today — something easy to forget from the relative freedom of a first world country. “It brings so much attention to the unfortunate things that women go through, not just in America, but around the world,” says Dayo Igun, a junior from Lagos, Nigeria, studying political science.
Take domestic violence, for example: the World Health Organization reported that 30 percent of women worldwide have experienced some form of sexual or non-sexual violence from their intimate partners. Women are the victims in 85 percent of all domestic abuse instances. We've got a long way to go.
Others, like sophomore and Lawrence native Lilith Kenn, see International Women’s Day as a chance to value what we've achieved. “It’s a day we can celebrate the accomplishments of women and look forward to the future,” Kenn says.
Whether you see it as a day to appreciate women for their strength, or fight for liberation and women's rights, the importance of International Women’s Day is undeniable. Freshman civil engineering student Hannah Steen, from Kansas City, says it should be a symbol of support.
“It’s important that all women support each other, and kind of make sure we all have a community,” Steen says. “Whether that’s within KU’s campus or across the world.”
If you’re looking for a place in Lawrence to celebrate women on March 8, stop by Ladybird Diner on Massachusetts Street for an International Women’s Day concert featuring Micha Anne, Bad Alaskan and Inez Robinson.
Happy International Women's Day, ladies.