A friend who is an inveterate wag tweeted me with the question, "So when's International Men's Day?"
I replied, "Every day."
That's why we have International Women's Day--to sing the praise of, and raise the issues of, the world's second class of citizens.
"Second class," says my friend, with eyebrows raised. "All of us on earth are people. Women are undeniably an equally important part of species homo sapiens."
Exactly. Women should be considered an equal part. But over 50 per cent of girls find that where they live, it is sometimes, often, or usually difficult to be a girl. Nearly 45 per cent of people think it is more difficult for girls to reach their full potential than it is for boys.
Throughout history, and still in many parts of the globe, women have been considered the property of men. Humans permit veiling, sexual violence, mutilation (foot binding, clitoridectomy), rape, and "honor" killing. Somewhat more subtly subjugated and denigrated in the United States much of the time, women face harassment daily and the glass ceiling often, especially in the traditionally male-dominated realm of power politics.
With ten million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 145 countries across the world, Internationalwomensday.com's preferred partner is the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. WAGGGS is the largest voluntary movement dedicated to supporting girls and young women in developing their full potential as responsible citizens of the world.
Girls and young women develop life skills in these groups through self-development, challenge, and adventure. It's not just about cookies any more.
The organization has organized a 24-hour worldwide online chat to increase awareness of girls' and young women's rights, gather recommendations on how to make these rights a reality, and contribute to the "World We Want for Girls"! Crossing eight time zones from the Philippines to Costa Rica, young women moderate discussions and guest experts in each field speak to education for girls, violence against girls and young women, decent job opportunities for young women and girls, and young women's participation in agenda development. You can participate in this worldwide 24-hour conversation here.
Do you have something to say? Join in!
Based in Chicago, Sandy Dechert has been covering women's health for Examiner.com since the webzine's official startup. She followed the creation and progress of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Sandy has also reported on the 2012-2013 influenza epidemic, top women's health news of 2012, and the fungal meningitis outbreaks.
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