Written by Heidi Blythe and Rachel Blythe (Class of 2022)
In the beginning of March, women and men across the world fill the streets to celebrate International Women’s Day. This event first originated in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland in 1911 to commemorate how far women have come in society, in politics, and in economics, and also to raise awareness of the continued inequality between men and women.
“It is true that women are paid less and don’t have access to the same positions and work opportunities that men do. This is not right because women and men are equal,” said Sister Ursula, a nun from Poland.
The theme for this year is #ChooseToChallenge. What does this mean? It means to choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality, to choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements, and to choose to create an inclusive world. In Asia, Emmi De Jesus, a women’s rights activist declared, “Today, our theme is for the fight for jobs, land and [the] eradication of violence against women.”
In salute of this international event, the DVGS Junior Class organized a week-long observance of women in the past who chose to challenge themselves and society to new ideas and dreams. Among these women, we covered Coco Chanel, who revolutionized women’s clothing away from societal restrictions; Anna May Wong, who made a breakthrough in Hollywood by being the first Chinese American movie-star, despite discrimination; Katherine Johnson, an African American woman, whose mathematical calculations were a crucial cornerstone in putting the first American men into orbit around Earth and onto the Moon; Vera Lynn whose songs kept the British troops in high morale during WWII, among a list of many other notable female leaders who challenged and made history.
Putting together this incredible event, the Junior class learned a great deal about their own capabilities and potential. From the women currently fighting in our own backyards to make our country a better and safer place, to peaceful celebrations thousands of miles away in other nations, these women and men have inspired us to engage, challenge, and ask ourselves what we can do to make the world a happier place. We are not separate from this fight for equality, we are living in it.
Categories: Global Awareness