Hello everyone! International Women’s Day is just around the corner and each year, this day is a really important one! If you aren’t already aware of the reasons, I’ll tell you some and I’ll give you advice for some steps which are – in my personal opinion – important foundations for supporting feminism and for abolishing patriarchy.
International Women’s Day is an important reminder to society of the significance of intersectional feminism, the movement to abolish patriarchy and a celebration of working women’s contribution including unpaid labor and family care to society as a whole.
In a society which is still very much governed by patriarchal structures and in a world where many women suffer through systematic oppression, International Women’s Day is a critical symbol for raising awareness of the importance of feminism. As long as people of all genders, including non-binary genders, are not equal, we need feminism. The date of March 8 marks every year the continued need to raise awareness about the universally harmful effects of patriarchy.
Everyone who believes in equal rights and opportunities in terms of education, work, body autonomy and of course in all other aspects of everyday life, is feminist. Whilst March 8 is an important symbol for the continued struggle for equality, International Women’s Day is only one of the 365 days a year in which feminism is needed to deconstruct a patriarchal world where women have less power than men.
An important pillar of feminism is to recognize the different lived experiences and intersectional identities of all women. It is crucial to acknowledge that in order to achieve equality we must always be mindful of our differences. There are interlocking systems of power that affect those who have multiple identities. When challenging the status quo in the fight for gender equality we must always consider that oppression based on race, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, class and religion will compound the experience of gender inequality for the most marginalized in our society.
What can each of us do for supporting the movement of intersectional feminism?
Listen and learn! Listen to the most marginalized voices in society and hold space for them to use their voice at every level. Learn about other people’s experiences that you’re less familiar with (e.g. in terms of ethnicity, race, sexuality, etc.) and educate yourself. Read feminist texts and prepare facts and arguments to be confident in any discussion.
Understand! Understand that your reality and feminist goals may not be the standard and that every person suffering under systematically patriarchal structures might have a significantly different background, situation and lived experience.
Talk! Talk with others about the existing shortcomings. Challenge people who say sexist expressions or use other derogatory language in every day private life. Use your voice and reach to already be political on personal levels.
Challenge! Challenge your own privilege and mindset. So much of what we learned has been taught by a society that values men’s rights more than women’s, but also certain races have more rights and privileges, certain sexual orientations, certain ages, ethnicities and classes too. So challenge the existing structures both around you and within you, challenge your own thinking and behavior.
Act! You can support an organization that promotes equal rights, you could organize an own protest project or participate in demonstrations. You can speak up and challenge injustice in situations you may have before been silent in. You can use whatever privileges you have to ACT!