by Madison Marko – Op-ed Editor
International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. The day, initially called Working Women’s Day, is a day to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. According to the UN, it is also a day to call for change.
The UN has outlined a theme for 2017, as well as key targets of the 2030 Agenda. Their theme for the year is: “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.”
Some of their key targets to accomplish by 2030 are: ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education, end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation, and eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
To Brooklyn Zanazanian, a junior, International Women’s Day is an important day of reflection on women’s contributions throughout history. Zanazanian said, “Throughout our education we have been fed information on what men have accomplished, but they stay quiet when it comes to women. In AP U.S. History, we’re learning about the ways women have contributed to society and life as we know it today. Like in World War 2, women were the majority of the people that pushed the war and built the aircrafts, ships—things that would take a year to build were built in 17 days with women doing it. We are forced under the radar, and every time we do get credit, people said, ‘Oh, it does not really matter.’ But, when a man does the same thing, it is like, ‘Props to him. He is a hero. Everybody should look up to him.’”
International Women’s Day celebrates female artists like Audre Lorde, a poet and activist, as well as women like Sister Rosetta Sister Tharpe, a singer with the nickname of “the godmother of rock and roll.” It celebrates female athletes like Billie Jean King, a professional tennis player and supporter of women’s and LGBTQA rights. It also pays respects to female innovators, mathematicians, and scientists like Flossie Wong-Staal, a UCLA grad who was the first scientist to clone HIV.
The day celebrates the contributions to society of women from all walks of life.