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what being a woman means to us: international women's day

what being a woman means to us: international women's day

international women's day is a global celebration that recognizes women's achievements in society, the economy, culture and politics.

the date was first observed in the united states in 1909, and the idea had been in the making since the previous year, when 15,000 women marched in new york city to demand better wages, working conditions and voting rights. when clara zetkin introduced the idea at the 2nd international working women's conference in copenhagen in 1910, the day became international. representatives of unions, socialist parties and working women's clubs from 17 countries unanimously endorsed the idea.

although the official celebration of the day was only established by the united nations in 1975, the first theme adopted by the UN (1996) was: "celebrating the past, planning for the future".

LI'S
I would never trade the role of being a woman for anything, even if it meant that I would start many places behind in every game! I dream of a day when being a woman or a man is neither defined nor polarized. but I believe that women, in their most ancestral origin, have a caring heart and a will to do great things. in a world full of great imbalances, these are two qualities that can bring a great deal to our planet, and for this reason alone, we all deserve to have a society in which women want to and can take up more space.

CLÁUDIA'S
defining a woman is not as simple as it may seem. without denying the obvious biological differences between the sexes, being a woman is much more than differences in chromosomes. we are not a homogeneous and identical group in form or content, but there is a "being a woman" that unites us.

perhaps simone de beauvoir captured this idea perfectly when she said, "one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman". being a woman is the result of our choices, our experiences, our education, and the resources that society has given us and is giving us today. years of progress and setbacks in the struggle for equality, a struggle that unfortunately never ends and is as necessary today as it was in the last century.

being a woman also means not running away from our bodies, with the reminders that nature keeps giving us... menstruation, pregnancy, menopause... and the awareness that our bodies are both celebrated and oppressed, the object of others' gaze, evaluation and criticism.

this is all of us women. and this is our day.

MARIANA'S
this may be a strong affirmation, but I don't always love being a woman, sometimes it's hard and scary. I wish I could walk alone in the street at night without being afraid, I wish I could use the clothes I really want to use, I wish I didn't have to be afraid anymore, I wish the world could be more equal.

but when I see a woman in a bar on a random friday and she offers to lend me her mascara, I remember that deep down I love being a woman.

being a woman for me is feeling that I have 5 million girlfriends all over the world that even if I don't know all of them, at the end of the day we can relate with each other's problems. being a woman for me sums up in one word, sorority. after all, being a woman for me is supporting other women conquers and problems because I feel all of them as if mine.

FRANCISCA'S
when people ask me what it feels like to be a woman, I answer that it's a mix of emotions, cause it takes a lot to be one. do I enjoy it? yes, in part. all the feminine and girly things... but mostly, I don't. as it's known, there's a very harsh reality of gender inequality. the fact that men lead better lives than women, for absolutely no reason, is a bit hard for me to swallow. there's an interview where taylor swift, a woman that inspires me so much, describes with a few sentences how it's like to be a woman: "if a man does something, it's "strategic", a woman does the same thing, its "calculated". a man is allowed to "react", a woman can only "overreact". a man does something? "confident and bold". a woman does it the same way, and she's "smug". a man "stands up for himself", a woman "throws a temper tantrum". it goes on and on and on".

what I love about being a woman? all the girlhood we get to experience from time to time. when a girl randomly smiles to me on the street, when I randomly make friends in the club's bathroom, on a random friday night, there're these little things... but it's kinda hard for me to put into words what I feel, but I think the two words that best describe it is frustation and unfair. I would love for men to take a woman's body at least once in their lifetime, and feel what it's like for us, every single day since the beginning to the end of our lives. and unfortunately, I don't think it would be enough.

MARTA'S
being a woman is much more than clothes. it's much more than a pretty face. being a woman is going against the world and still having the strength to fight after everything. being a woman is sometimes being afraid to go out on the street. being a woman is often being afraid to speak out and not being heard. being a woman is being judged by the way you dress, the way you look, however worthless it may be, it's still a reality. but in the end, being a woman is very rewarding and enriching. so i'm proud to be a woman and i wouldn't want to be any other way. it's the most beautiful way to see and feel the world.

SOFIA'S
being the last person to write this paragraph and reading the words of my colleagues (and girlfriends) about being a woman makes me realize that being a woman is first and foremost about looking at each other with understanding and love. as women, we understand that every action has a consequence. we are constantly growing and experiencing and overcoming adversity. we need to stick together!

as a young woman with my whole life ahead of me, I believe that I’ll still face challenges ahead. don't get me wrong... it is an exciting time to be a woman, because we have achieved so much in the last century! however, there is always room for growth and progress and the truth is that we still have a lot of work to do. we shouldn't take women's achievements for granted. there is much more to be accomplished, and we must conquer what we have to conquer together.

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