“We must unite. Violence against women cannot be tolerated, in any form, in any context, in any circumstance, by any political leader or by any government.”
— Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Annually some organisations and governments around the world recognise and celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th. The official theme for this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations, as declared by the United Nations is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”.
The day aims at honouring and celebrating women and their political, economic and social achievements. With more women in company boardrooms, more female politicians, some female astronauts and more women becoming impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could be forgiven for thinking violence against women have minimised. The unfortunate fact is that women are still maltreated not only by their male counterparts but by women as well.
Women are still not present in equal numbers in business, science or politics, and, globally, still have less access to education. This is not to mention violence against women, which remains a serious problem in certain parts of the world. Nevertheless, great improvements can be made.
The first thing that needs to change is our social perception. The best way to celebrate womanhood is to respect and protect women. Girls and women have real choices. If you come across any kind of aggression against woman, go ahead and help her and if you come across violence against yourself do not keep it within. The violence young ladies face in their relationship, homes, schools and everywhere should be talked about, seek help where necessary. This day offers an opportunity for women to reflect and unite for changes that will continue to empower them, support them and assert their rights, recognize the challenges that exist for them and take action to address some of these challenges.
I believe this year’s theme is particularly relevant to the violence we face as individuals .This International Women’s Day provides a chance for us to say that we see the level of violence against women and it is unacceptable. Several events are held across the world to inspire women to fight for their place in a better society but individuals must recognize that it starts from you and me. All forms of violence against women must stop from the use of rape to the use of violence by a husband or boyfriend to terrorize his wife or girlfriend. Make a promise today and stop violence against girls, women and all marginalized and poor people.
Written by : Amisah Zenabu Bakuri