Manoela Dos Santos – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- Thursday, March 8 marked the annual International Women’s Day (IWD), a day for people across the world, including those at LRHS, to recognize the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.

In 1911, Suffragettes, woman seeking the right to vote through organized protest, held the first IWD event. More than one million women and men attended rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office, and end discrimination in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

LRHS math teacher Meghan Sugalski said, “We need to recognize International Women’s Rights Day, because as much as American women like to complain about issues, we have more rights and are treated better than women in other countries, especially the Middle East.  So, although today is for every woman, I think we need to focus on where we are lacking internationally.”

IWD is not affiliated with any one group, but brings together governments, women’s organizations, corporations and charities.  Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist, and activist once explained, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

The 2018 IWD theme is #PressForProgress in response to the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report, which measured gender inequality and uncovered that we are still 200 years away from gender parity.

LRHS Career and College Counselor Michelle Todoroff said, “Women are definitely competitive in the workplace right now, alongside with men. We are seeing that a lot of the roles that were typically dominated by men are now being filled by women who are seeking high profile positions in companies. Women in the workplace should have the same rights as a man; the position should always go to the most qualified.”

LRHS theater teacher Roxanne Caravan also pointed out the progress women have made in theater and arts, “Women can perform now, back in the renaissance it was illegal. Men would act out female parts. We see that there is an increasing number of women writers, directors, and producers.”

Today women take the day to highlight issues on a worldwide scale through conferences, rallies, festivals, corporate events, speaking events, online digital gathering etc., but LRHS Spanish teacher Lillian Martinez posed the true question, “If today is international women’s day, what are the other 364 days in the year?”

The campaign for women equality does not end on International Women’s Day. It’s just the start. The International Women’s Day website assured, “Throughout the year many groups worldwide adopt the IWD campaign theme for further campaign work, gender-focused initiatives, continuing activity and events.”

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