When we think about feminism, we tend to focus on the things we have no yet achieved
We think of the gender pay gap, the pervasive nature of rape culture or the unfair treatment of women in the workplace. There are countless problems that fourth-wave feminism still needs to address. However, for International Women’s Day, it is time to put aside the thoughts of problems just for a few hours. For this purpose, I want to celebrate the accomplishments of feminism and the gender equality movement. Therefore, I have compiled a list of five amazing things that happened for and because of women in the past year.
1) Women are spearheading one of the most important movements of our time: The fight for climate justice.
Led by Greta Thunberg, millions of people around the globe are fighting for a sustainable future for them and for their children. All of this is happening because of a young woman who refuses to let others silence her.
At the TEDxVienna conference of 2019, Franziska Marholt gave an inspiring talk. She urged all listeners to take action in order to stave off the oncoming crisis. Whatever one’s attitude towards the climate justice movement may be, it is undeniable that the strength and bravery shown by the young women involved is admirable.
2) The number of women in politics is increasing.
According to the UN, 24.3 % of all national parliamentarians were women in February 2019, which is twice as much as the meagre 11.3% calculated in 1995.
Denmark, Thailand, Liberia, Iceland and Germany are only a few of the countries which are led by female politicians who act as either prime ministers or presidents. Rwanda’s parliament has the highest percentage of female representatives, 61.3 as of June 2019.
Step by step, we are slowly moving towards a more diverse and more equal future. Let us celebrate the strong women who enable us to do so!
3) Women in science are finally getting the recognition they deserve.
History has not been kind to female scientists. They have often been excluded from the discourse, or their work has been attributed to male contemporaries. However, we are finally talking about great female scientists like Rosalind Franklin, Ada Lovelace or the winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Frances Arnold. Not only that, but NASA launched the first-ever all-women spacewalk in 2019.
The female scientists of the world have fought for so long for recognition and now, finally, the world is slowly changing for the better.
4) Women in sports are fighting for their rights and for their equal pay.
Whereas ten years ago, most female athletes had to be grateful to be included at all, they are now in a position that enables them to demand equal pay. Women have proven that they can outperform male athletes in many fields and that having children does not negatively influence their performance. Finally, we are seeing a change – women are fighting for their rights and the fighting is paying off.
5) Finally, women are learning to be proud of who they are and embracing womanhood to the fullest.
The past year brought a surge in empowerment for many women. They are confident, loud and proud of their gender. It has taken us this long to call out the double standards that women face in everyday life. Where men are called ‘confident’, ‘strong’ or ‘born leaders’, women with the same qualities are deemed as ‘bossy’, ‘annoying’ or ‘uptight’. Still, we are starting to challenge those stereotypes. Women are embracing their powerful, bossy and strong nature.
Of course, all of the points mentioned above are just the start. There should be even more women in politics, entertainment and sports – not to mention in science, engineering and economics – and they should be recognized for the amazing feats they have accomplished. Nonetheless, we can return to fighting for the cause tomorrow. Today, let’s just celebrate amazing, strong feminists of all genders and take a moment to appreciate how far we have come.
Header image by Lindsey Lamont on Unsplash