Today is International Women's Day. The day honoring all women falls every year on March 8.
It wasn't until recently that I considered myself a feminist. The only reason for this is that I didn't know exactly what being a feminist meant.
There are so many assumptions that come with one identifying as a feminist such as; wanting to be better than men, feminists are raging and ugly women, they don't shave, and that all feminists hate men and the prospects of having a family. All of these are stereotypes. All feminists share one simple goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women and men.
Yes it may appear that in North America we women are equal to men, but no, we are not exactly viewed as equal. Some important issues women still face even today in North America include income inequality (In the U.S a white woman earns 81 cents to a mans dollar while the difference is greater for black and Latino women), a disproportionate amount of violence against women, abortion, and rape.
The problems women face in North American countries may seem small compared to what women in countries outside North America have to go through. Over 100 million girls in developing countries have not completed, and will not complete their education, In West and Central Africa women are married and birthing children before 18 years of age, and the majority of people in living in poverty are women (70%). Women's rights have come a very long way in a short amount of time thanks to so many brave individuals who fought and are still fighting for our rights around the world.
It may seem surprising but fashion has been a reflection of where women are socially and politically in society throughout history.
At a time where it was scandalous for a woman to wear anything resembling menswear Marlene Dietrich did. In the 1930s Dietrich was almost arrested for wearing pants in public.
Coco Chanel made a huge impact on the way women dress today. Back when women were to only wear skirts and dresses Chanel designed suits and pants for them.
One of the most notable women who sends the message of female empowerment in her work is designer Diane Von Furstenberg. Her mantras are "feel like a woman, wear a dress" and "proud to be woman". DVF has also founded the DVF awards which honor women who have made positive impacts on the world through leadership, philanthropy, and hard work (Harper's Bazaar).
Happy International Women's Day