Students in 1910

 

 

Women Students at Ohio State University in 1910

womenshistory.osu.edu

  

This is International Women’s Day. What does that mean to you? There has been an International Women’s Day since 1910. Women all over the world have been in a struggle much longer than that. It might seem that it is hopeless but through the years there has been some progress made for women, but sometimes for every step forward there are several steps back. Rallys and commemorations, do have some place in this struggle. Ideas of how women can achieve gender equity on a broad level are still being imagined and those that are imagined cue up for some kind of implementation. 

Over time I have come to understand the strange twist of words and actions that sometimes prevent women from achieving gender equity. Probably the most important prevention to gender equity is ignorance, lack of education, for both sexes. Countries which keep women back from power, even in their own lives, over their own destinies tend to be countries where women are restricted in their education. Without access to education, even rudimentary education, those in authority have a way of controlling women from finding out what they can be, what they can do, what they can learn. Women must be as valuable as men in a culture and until that overall principle is embraced globally, restrictions on what women can access in the way of education is going to continue to be the largest stumbling block. 

Elevating women out of poverty, allowing them to have venture capital to start businesses, even in the most uneducated and poor countries, allows women a place of prominence in their communities. It provides the ability to care for themselves and their children. It also instills within, the beginning of what they will need to fight the status they are culturally forced to endure because of ignorance and some traditions. What they need to fight this negative status is self confidence, a sense of indignation, the ability to use their new found power to begin to break the chains of male dominance in their cultures. They need to turn back the surge of anti women sentiment with a shower of what women can do for their cultures and countries.

Female children in many countries are still unwanted. The reasons for this are many, but the main reason is that they are considered valueless. Giving women an opportunity to create their own livelihood teaches their value to their societies in the basest of terms. Money seems to be always what talks the loudest. 

 

Economic March 1974  

 Economic March 1974,  Chicago Women's Liberation Union

 photo from Illinois State University

 

I was raised with a feminist attitude. I enjoyed my brief interlude almost all the way through college, that life would be a place where men and women were equals. No matter how hard I tried to change the playing field in my twenties, I found that the world I was in was not the one I thought. Okay I admit it. I have now raised a feminist daughter. What I have learned is what I am offering here. In this world money motivates. To be sure, the rape, mutilation, slavery, social imprisonment of women are all issues that are very real and part of the devaluation of women in our world, but what seems to conquer that on many fronts is economic stability. What we seem to respect most in this world is the power of money. So there, women need financial stability, they need control over their own lives, they need to be valued for the fantastic people that they are.

 Indian women learning 2009

Indian Woman Entrepreneurs Learning -Photo from the International Development and Relief Foundation 

 

Ah, if women ruled the world…would there be war, would there be famine, would there be poverty, would there be unloved children? We can only guess about these things as the reality is, we women are certainly a long way from ruling it, we are still trying to survive it. Until the day when a woman in any country is free from violence, oppression and submission, I fear our work in this world is not done.

Me and Lilly Ledbetter 

Lilly Ledbetter and I, she was the inspiration for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009,  and advocates for equal pay in the United States.

 Copyright 2010 SheilaTGTG55

Views: 122

Comment by Ron Powell on March 8, 2013 at 11:19am

An interesting convergence...Click this link, for my "comment"....

 The End of War, Violence, and Corporate Greed: An Ancient Idea Revi...

Comment by Anna Herrington on March 8, 2013 at 11:21am

Thanks for this, Sheila. Yes, there is much work to do....

I cannot jump on the bandwagon of no wars, no poverty, if women ruled the world -- we aren't flawless, but I do think we'd be living in a different world, with some things better, some things maybe not.

The important point to me is the equality for women, in wage, in opportunity, in reality.

Today.

Comment by Zanelle on March 8, 2013 at 11:23am

Excellent post, thank you.   I love the idea of women in charge.  Equality is a wonderful thing. 

Comment by Anna Herrington on March 8, 2013 at 11:23am

....and there's something about that first photo -- I just keep staring.  A great photo...love their purposeful strides.

Comment by JMac1949 Memories on March 8, 2013 at 11:27am

What?  Women have their own day?  But what about Mother's Day and Valentine's Day? Aren't those days for the ladies?   What would Phyllis Schafly have to say about this development, or Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin?  Does Michelle Bachmann know about this?  What about Sarah Palin?  For sure she'd have something to say, you betcha!  R&L and celebrate the better half of the people of the world!  ;-)

Comment by Sheila Luecht on March 8, 2013 at 11:38am

Ha, thanks for your comments, JMac, Just Thinking, Zanelle, and Ron. I went back into my stuff and found this piece which is now a few years old. I do think more women in government is a good thing still, just not any women though. We have seen enough Palins and Bachmann types for a good long while. I like the progressive, independent, feminist, the one who stands up for women's rights, worldwide and really rocks that status quo. I would love to stuff all those men and women who are doing everything they can to prevent women from going forward in equality into a small bottle and toss them on the ocean, or bury them like that game Jumanji. Woe to who opens up that game again. We will continue to fight for equality, we will stand up.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on March 8, 2013 at 1:40pm

thanks    it's really good to be reminded  

Comment by Sheila Luecht on March 8, 2013 at 2:56pm

Thanks for stopping by Jon.

Comment by Lyle Elmgren on March 10, 2013 at 9:26am

Throughout history there have always been an oppressed class. A weakness of human nature. I believe in equality of opportunity.

Comment by Rosigami on March 10, 2013 at 9:57am

What would Camille Paglia say?

I hate the very idea that we even need an "International Women's Day."  The issues need to be addressed every day.  There has to be a fundamental shift in perception, and that is something that happens very slowly. Still, I am optimistic. 

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