Why I Am Not Celebrating International Women’s Day 2015

On the 8th of March 2015 the world celebrated International Women’s Day. I chose to mark the day rather than celebrate. ‘Why?’ you may well ask. Here is my answer:

As long as women still have to justify their existence as equal citizens of the world, I will not celebrate,

I will not celebrate till the Chibok girls are returned alive or dead,

I will not celebrate while the rape of women is blamed on women and ‘India’s Daughter’ is banned,

I will not celebrate as long as domestic abuse is rampant and victim-blaming is ‘normal’,

I will not celebrate as long as red carpet events all over the world are witness to inane, idiotic questions about fashion only directed at women,

While men all similarly-dressed, higher paid are walk alongside them,

I will not celebrate the fact that women are only judged by their outward appearance and criticised when THEY focus solely on the outward,

I refuse to celebrate as long as women are not allowed to control their bodies, or their bodies are treated as commodities, objectified,

I will not celebrate as long as ‘feminist’ is treated as a dirty word,

I will not celebrate because a higher percentage of the world’s poor are women and a very low percentage of the world’s rich are,

I will not celebrate as long as the phrase ‘She is someone’s wife/daughter/mother’ is used to justify shame – she is Someone;

As long as we need to have an International Women’s Day, there is no cause to celebrate it,

But I will pay tribute to all women around the world, who strive and strain, whose sweat feeds this world, whose blood gives it life,

In tribute to them, in tribute to us all, the words from my heart, from the depths of my soul, at the top of my lungs, are the words of the women of South Africa who defied everyone singing:

“NOW YOU HAVE TOUCHED THE WOMEN, YOU HAVE STRUCK A ROCK! YOU HAVE DISLODGED A BOULDER!! YOU WILL BE CRUSHED!!!

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