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International Women’s Day should honor the history, progress of women

The future is getting brighter for women. With movements that fight and challenge the system like #Metoo and #TimesUp taking over social media, women are no longer afraid of having their voices and demands for equality heard.

Started by the Suffragettes in the early 1900s as a petition for equal working conditions and voting rights, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911 to commemorate the movement for women’s rights all around the world. By leading marches, hosting panels and giving speeches, women have been working on creating a better future for generations to come.

Aimed to bring recognition to women all over the world, this month is dedicated to honoring those who fight all forms of discrimination against women by bringing together governments, women’s organizations, corporations and charities alike. This year, the focus is #PressForProgress

In the past, International Women’s Day has focused on #BeBoldForChange, which encouraged a more gender inclusive world, and #PledgeForParity, which focused on helping women across the globe achieve their goals. Now #PressForProgress is prompting to bring global attention to the injustices happening to women worldwide and pushing for a world where both men and women are ultimately equal.

Last year, women’s rights dominated the news with allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against prominent men in power. After one voice spoke out, hundreds followed, spreading like wildfire and giving women the courage to finally stand up for their rights.

By pressing for change, the abuse and harassment that has infiltrated the workplace for centuries in all sectors, whether it be entertainment or politics, has been brought to light. This change continues to scorch those who dare touch a women without her consent.

According to the World Economic Forum, it’s going to take an additional 217 years to finally close the global gender pay gap. That’s two centuries of continuously fighting the system and demanding equal pay for women. Although shocking, it’s definitely a step forward.

In the past decade alone, female hiring has increased across all selected industries — as well as the hiring of  women into senior leadership positions.

The responsibility of creating an equal world doesn’t and shouldn’t lay on the shoulders of just women. Everyone should be encouraged to fight for change. It starts with simple conversations among friends and family. International Women’s Day is not only a celebration that highlights the progress and achievements of women from the past. It’s also a foundation that promotes girls to grow up and make an even bigger impact in the world.

Women’s History Month is a chance to recognize and appreciate the strong women in your life and globally as we thank women, past and present, for creating the dialogue that will inevitably bring the equality they have sacrificed so much for.

Opinion Assist Bethel Biru is a broadcast journalism senior and can be reached at [email protected]

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