Every year on International Women’s Day a few people come out to ask why there is a whole day dedicated to women. A whole month for Women’s History. “Where is international men’s day?” they ask. “Where is men’s history month?”
According to recent estimates, women will not be equal with men for 117 years. Between the gender wage gap, the gap between men and women in political and professional leadership roles, and everyday sexism, women do not feel equal. Inequality between men and women is exacerbated for racial and sexual minorities, persons with disabilities, and other intersecting identities that are not “mainstream.” For example, the pay gap between men and women in the United States doing the same work is 79%. The gap between a white man and a Hispanic/Latina woman is 61%. If that Hispanic woman were also disabled and/or transgender, the gap would he even greater still.
Women like Margaret Hamilton, who wrote code that put men on the moon, or Pauli Murray, a legal scholar, civil rights activist, and priest, are only just now being recognized for their contributions – contributions used by men, without credit in many cases. Until women’s historical and contemporary achievements are recognized, we need Women’s History Month. Until all women worldwide enjoy the same rights and ability to participate in society as men, we need International Women’s Day. Join me in the #PledgeforParity. Work to include women equally in the workforce, community, politics, and any other space traditionally inhabited by men. Let’s reach equality now, not in 117 years.