Today, let us think globally and intersectionally. Let us recognize the strength and power of women throughout history, as well as the continued marginalization of women. Let us acknowledge our grand achievements and the things our world has yet to achieve. Let us celebrate women, mourn women, love women. Let us commemorate what we have overcome, and prepare for the battles ahead. Let us understand that equality has not yet been achieved, but that we must continue to do the work in order to reach equality. Let us raise action, not awareness.
Today—and every day—remember the struggles that women have faced and continue to face. Worldwide, at least one in three women are abused by intimate partners and one in five women will be survivors of rape or attempted rape. 62 million girls are not in school. Women and girls face staggering systemic obstacles in education and the economy. Gender based violence. Reproductive rights. Human trafficking. Economic gaps. These things are not abstract social justice concepts, they are battles that literally half the world fight daily.
But also remember the trailblazing leaders whose shoulders we stand on, as well as the trailblazing leaders who are currently doing the vital work of survival and empowerment. Most of all, remember the trailblazing leaders to come—our daughters, sisters, nieces, students…
Let us continue to be defiant and hopeful and fierce. Happy International Women’s Day 2015.