8th of March is more like Harry Potter’s never-healing scar, than a day of pure celebration. It is rather discouraging to continue with one’s daily life when funding for women’s health organizations has been curtailed in the US, the world’s third biggest country. A conservative ruling party in Poland was suggesting further restrictions on abortions in Poland, something that caused an outcry of protests. A fresh report from SACO has concluded that female academics earn an astonishing 2.8 million SEK less in a life-time than their male colleagues. Young women between the ages of 25-34 years, are the highest educated group in Sweden. About 50% more women are registered at Swedish universities in comparison to men (SCB 2015), and still, women continue to earn less, something simply irrational.
Women aren’t the only ones affected by inequalities and patriarchal structures, inequality causes suffering for every societal group. Traditional male gender roles are expecting men to be strong, macho, dominant, fearless and to hold back tears. Mental health issues are highly prevalent among boys, something that has to be spoken out about.
8th of March isn’t a day to pity women with roses and chocolate, it’s a day to stand up against inequality and to demand progress. As soon as we take our rights for granted, we allow someone else to take control. Therefore every victory has to be defended, and every victory should be even bolder and bigger.
We won’t stop here, we can’t stop here. Women, men, LGBTQ+ people and children all over the globe are putting pressure on politicians and putting the flaws in our world into the limelight. And we will continue to do so until every goddamn girl can go to school, have fundamental rights globally and avoid being punished or having to pay for the fact that she was born a woman. Being born a woman shall no longer be a position of misfortune. It shall be a privilege equal to that of other genders. What I ask of you, is to unite and work alongside each other today, just slightly more than on other days. We have an ability to make a change.
Things that seemed impossible, such as women obtaining the right to vote in Sweden in the 1920’s, to tearing down the Berlin-wall were all accomplished, though not only by one man, but by willpower, determination and through the unity of people.
Jana Paegle | 24 May
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