Make Women’s Day Great Again

By Sreynet Chem


Views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of UNICEF.

Today, the world sees a celebration of parity handshaking with femininity as the misogynistic bigotry sees it as “Females’ whine day” — so they may call it.

March 8: International Women’s Day, by all means, historically known, hosts a crucial day to every woman particularly those who go “I can’t believe I’m still fighting for this s***.”

International Women’s day is commemorated to exhibit women’s phenomenal struggle all around the world and read to men a memo of how their partners, relatives or coworkers may have constituted the percentage of those who strive to crack the glass ceiling, work under wide pay gap and, horrifying enough, have fallen victim to gender-based violence.

The fact that violence against women is still dominating the streets in contemporary society in a way similar to a fictional society when the Capulets and the Montagues were drawing swords at each other is ridiculous. I remember last year on women’s day reading about the tragic fate of a woman during my casual lunchtime Facebook scroll. It was upsetting to watch how domestic violence still happening in our society was dislodging the meaning of the day.

Cambodian women, ill-famed targets of gender-related violence, have also been reduced to scapegoats of judgement and name-calling when they fail to conform to the rigid norms or what makes them a good Cambodian woman. These are a few:

1. Wearing shorts are for call girls…. Does the world revolve around our pants length?
2. You must learn how to cook for your future husband…. Everyone has to learn how to cook when they’re hungry for goodness’ sake!
3. Staying out late is not for women… Self-restraint is rare these days. Can’t enjoy life for s***

And the list goes on.

For me, March 8th is about bringing this yardstick to review.

Gender issues are globalized. I have learnt that the cases of gender issue in India are pervasive. One woman dies every hour because of dowry fight. The discovery of how 70% of married Indian women between the age of 15 and 49 are victims of beatings and rape is heart-wrenching. The reality of pay gap is that Indian women are paid 27% less than men. All of these figures only keep multiplying themselves and add up to why putting an end to gender disparity will take longer than just one day.

Women’s day needs to exist every single day, every single hour. And surely, we have a long way to go. International Women’s Day is about men of the globe partaking as advocates. It is an awareness day to remind everyone of women’s superpower beyond kitchens and how deserving they are to have a fair access to every opportunity. It is basically about how to learn to grab these women a little more by their opinions and little less than by their body parts. That is how we make international women’s day great again.

Originally posted on Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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