We believe that solidarity is not boiled down to a single day, but exists every day. However, since it is International Women's Day, we wanted to take the change to overtly explain our standing of Past & Present Women, highlghting their struggles and achievements.
Today is international Women’s Day. While it is a day to celebrate and acknowledge the long way that has been achieved in regard to closing down the gender gap and achieving true equality among sexes, we cannot do so without remembering the troubled and arduous way that has been taken.
Rosa Luxemburg, one of the front coming activists in the fight for Women’s rights had said this in one of her speeches:
“…the Social Democratic women’s paper [Die Gleichheit, edited by Clara Zetkin] has more than one hundred thousand subscribers; women’s suffrage is one of the vital issues on the platform of Social Democracy.
Exactly these facts might lead you to underrate the importance of the fight for women’s suffrage. You might think: even without equal political rights for women we have made enormous progress in educating and organizing women.”
Only 110 years in the past we see Women’s struggle against the patriarchal status quo that dominated earth. However, as we can clearly see from Luxemburg’s speech, the drive to always aspire and demand not more, but equal rights to their male counterparts, has been kept in spirit to this day.
With this, we want to go over her quote once more, “…even without equal political right for women we have achieved enourmous progress in educating and organizing women.” This highlights an essential concept in the history of Women’s rights:
That it was their strong-will, righteousness and their belief in true equality that has allowed them to exercise their rights. They have not achieved their rights thanks to some external forces, quite the contrary, they have reached many milestones despite the patriarchal structure and mind-set of society as a whole.
One other such example that celebrates and remembers one of the forerunners in the feministic movement, Virginia Woolf, had made a perfect analogy in her work, aptly titled a Room of One’s Own. To preface this quote and put it into context, here she describes that were Shakespeare to have a sister that was equally, or more gifted, how society’s urge to subdue women would result in her demise:
“…any woman born with a great gift in the sixteenth century would certainly have gone crazed, shot herself, or ended her days in some lonely cottage outside the village, half witch, half wizard, feared and mocked at.”
It is that we can see from these revolutionary Women in history that we can safely surmise that, Women’s achievements to date have been achieved despite the World, not thanks to it. Again, quoting Woolf,
“All the conditions of her life, all her own instincts, were hostile to the state of mind which is needed to set free whatever is in the brain.”
Such is the subjugation that has troubled Women in the past, and still does today: the externality telling them how to live, think and behave. This historical, cruel, alienation of Women is still widely present, which is why we do not acknowledge and internalize Women’s Day by a simple act of celebration but rather by acknowledging and congratulating all Women in history on this day while not forgetting the past and present struggles that Women around the globe face.