08
Mar

#PressForProgress In 2018: The Year Of The Woman | Happy International Women’s Day

Just following the year of #MeToo and #TimesUp, it’s more crucial than ever to celebrate, reach out to, learn about, and educate everyone about the ever-evolving social progress of half the world: Women.

This is why 2018 is the year to #PressForProgress.

By: Elizabeth Toy

Happy International Women’s Day! Today is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women! But…

It’s 2018. We have self-driving cars, computers for phones, and remote-controlled thermostats! But, women are still experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace and still earn only an average of 80 cents to a man’s dollar! Can you believe it?

No wonder International Women’s Day is also designated as a day to accelerate gender equality!

A Little History

According to the United Nations, the first International Women’s Day was originally established on February 28, 1909 to honor the garment worker’s strike the year before, when 15,000 female garment workers marched through the streets of New York to demand shorter hours, better pay, and the right to vote.

We’ve come a long way since then, but we’re not done yet.

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You, too? #MeToo!

After a number of reports of sexual harassment surfaced and subsequently, were spotlighted in Hollywood a few years back, the #MeToo Movement became a national spectacle.

That was step one: bringing awareness by raising voices where there was once an implied, obligatory silence. And while it was a good initial effort to shed light on the problem, it wasn’t enough to resolve it… yet.

#Time’s Up Now!

Inspired by the #MeToo Movement, earlier last year, 300 prominent women signed an open letter, which was published in the New York Times on New Year’s Day to say #TimesUp for “systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential.”

In this letter,  these women expressed their solidarity in standing with working-class women who have experienced or still experience sexual harassment in the workplace:

To every woman employed in agriculture who has had to fend off unwanted sexual advances from her boss, every housekeeper who has tried to escape an assaultive guest, every janitor trapped nightly in a building with a predatory supervisor, every waitress grabbed by a customer and expected to take it with a smile, every garment and factory worker forced to trade sexual acts for more shifts, every domestic worker or home health aide forcibly touched by a client, every immigrant woman silenced by the threat of her undocumented status being reported in retaliation for speaking up and to women in every industry who are subjected to indignities and offensive behavior that they are expected to tolerate in order to make a living: We stand with you. We support you.

It’s undeniable that these women are us: our mothers and grandmothers, our sisters and aunts, our caretakers and nurses, our teachers, our colleagues, our daughters, our best friends, ourselves.

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Few women I know have crossed borders or reached milestones – either mental or physical – without experiencing some kind of gender-based unjust treatment. Have you ever been sexually harassed or taken advantage of because of your sex? We stand for you, too.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

#TimesUp delivers the action that supplements the words that have been uttered and ignored countless times, with the hope to create concrete change and eventually, lead to workplace equity.

According to Time,

“Organizers want to see the passage of laws for gender parity issues such as equal pay and equal work environments – as well as increased opportunities, particularly for women in low-wage industries and women of color.”

To execute this, #TimesUp created a Legal Defense Fund to legally and financially support women and men who want to fight sexual misconduct through the legal justice system. Already, it has raised more than $21 million dollars on its GoFundMe page.

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As Kimberly mentioned last year on International Women’s Day:

Change happens with time and sustained effort.

And with initiatives like #MeToo and #TimesUp, we are beginning to see those changes in the world as we continue to #PressForProgress.

mi-tu-Me-Too-Women-rights-equality-censorship-rice-bunny

Chinese women had to get creative to raise their voices because of China’s censorship laws. #MiTu is a Chinese homonym of #MeToo. In English, “Mi Tu” translated to “RiceBunny.” Thus, the RiceBunny Movement was born.

And we’re not the only ones! According to BBC, 2018 is truly the Year of the Woman because of the numerous movements sparked internationally by raising our voices:

More on KimberlyElise.com:  Experiencing Selma With Oprah And Our Civil Rights Legends

Celebrate International Women’s Day by letting the wonderful women in your life know how much you appreciate them and how much impact and influence they have had on your life, through the triumphs and losses, and the progress we have yet to make.

After all, our opinions and ideas matter just as much as the other half.

P.S. Need a reminder of all the awesome things that women have done? Check out our Woman Crush Wednesdays:

(#WCW)

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About

Elizabeth is a lifestyle and travel writer. Currently the editor at KimberlyElise.com, she advocates snail mail, slow food, and traveling.
Find her on Instagram @wanderingelle.