If We Stop, the World Stops

February 28, 1909: in honor of the garment workers’ strike in 1908 in which women marched in the streets to protest their working conditions, the Socialist Party of America designated this day as the first national Women’s Day. This day also marks the beginning of the international Women’s Day of today, inspiring women from around the world to stand up for themselves. Remarkably, an echo of the garment strike that started it all still rings, 104 years later, in a completely different continent: several weeks ago, 50,000 Bangladeshi garment workers in India striked over ‘inhuman’ wages. These women have fought tooth and nail throughout centuries to secure the basic right of equality, yet today, inequality still exists around the world–and I wonder how many more years will pass until we’re equal.

America, China, India, Turkey, Nepal, Zambia, France, Spain. Women around the world on March 8th celebrate the achievements women have made without regard to nationality, ethnicity, language, culture, socioeconomic or political background. The international women’s movement has just begun and has no plans of stopping any time soon.

Just as the  “Fearless Girl” statue on Wall Street, New York, represents the strength and power found in women, women from around the world represent these virtues. In India, the voice of “dignity is strength” is spread throughout New Delhi, India, by women who march in the street for equal respect in the workplace. In Pakistan, female members of a police commando unit march as well. In Spain, women take part in a “pans meeting” at Puerta del Sol as part of a feminist strike called by the 8M Commission–an umbrella group of feminist organizations. These are just a few of the movements that take place in the world as a global movement towards gender equality. The role that women play around the world can no longer be forgotten and disregarded, and as one slogan in a Spanish rally said, “If we stop, the world stops.”