Respecting the Women’s March

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Published February 6, 2017
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The Montclarion
Photo Courtesy: NCVO London (Flickr)
Photo Courtesy: NCVO London (Flickr)

Photo Courtesy: NCVO London (Flickr)

Over a week ago, the Women’s March took place all across the country. Along with all the positivity that came from it, there also came women who put it down. Social media and news outlets found women saying their rights were in no way being threatened and that they were indeed equal to men. It is statements such as these that make it hard to keep quiet, because some women have become so ignorant to their own realities in American society.

An argument put forth multiple times online was: “Women in America can drive and work; therefore, they are equal.” Yet, equality is much more complex than having the ability to work and drive.

In America, women are not equal to men. White women still only make 78 cents of every man’s dollar in the same line of work, and that statistic becomes more staggering as women of color make even less. But many women continue to believe that this pay gap does not exist. The United States is ranked 65th in wage equality for similar work. Currently, no country in the world pays women and men the same for the same work.

There are only nine countries in the world that do not offer paid maternity leave, one of them being the United States. It is embarrassing to be the only-high-income, developed country that does not ensure some sort of maternity leave. Almost 50 percent of countries in the world offer some sort of leave to both parents, while American women have a hard time getting unpaid maternity leave. But again, this is often ignored.

Also, women cannot breastfeed in public without being sexualized, and some only feel safe with pepper spray in their bags. Women here are still told how to dress to make sure they do not get raped, while in Singapore, women feel safe to walk alone at night.

Roe v. Wade for some reason is up for discussion. Land of the free? Not for women when they wish to make decisions over their own bodies. Ironically, the decisions made on women’s health concerns are voted on in Congress by more men than women. Currently, the United States is one of the countries that is the most liberal about a woman’s right to choose, but President Trump has made it clear that he wants to change that. Women need to speak up to keep their rights.

Out of 197 constitutions in the world, 32 of them contain no references to gender equality. The United States falls within those 32. The United States Constitution does not even make it clear that women are equal. The United States ranks in the 45th place for women’s equality, but people continue to say otherwise. Women clearly have something to fight for right now.

Sure, women can do a lot more than ever before, but there are still more men CEOs than women. Women can buy a house and get medical help without a man, but a woman’s beauty is often still more important than her education.

Women have children on their own now, but are still judged harshly for not being married. The Women’s March is making strides for women’s rights and may one day be looked at as the second coming of the women’s rights movement.

The reason women can say things against women’s rights and women’s equality is because of people just like those who participated in the Women’s March and went out there to fight for those basic rights, for women and human beings. I think a “thank you” is more appropriate than criticism.

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