Women’s Day is not a celebration

Nameya Jacobs

The day I’m writing this, it’s International Women’s Day. Every year, on the 8th of March, we (supposedly) celebrate women and their achievements socially, culturally, politically, and economically. I’ve been a woman for 24 years now, have lived through 24 Women’s Days, and I don’r know about you, but I haven’t felt very celebrated.

From the minute I could understand gender, I was taught that being a woman would come with a myriad of unwanted responsibilities, courtesy of a demographic who take to the internet to ask if personal hygiene is considered “gay”. Because I was bound to socialise with men, there were a set of spoken and unspoken rules that kept me submissive on one hand and alive on the other.

If you haven’t navigated this world as a woman, it may surprise you to know that we are aware of our surroundings 24/7, because at any given moment, what we do or say could cost us our lives, all because we have grown up in a society that tells us men are superior, women are inferior, and therefore any form of harrassment or violence used against us is simply nature resorting balance. It’s hard to feel celebrated in a country where being a woman means nothing more than being a punching bag to mediocre lovers, brothers, fathers, and friends. In a country where we take up majority of the seats in higher education, but are still paid less than men for the same job. In a country where, because the police don’t take our crimes seriously, we have to take to the streets to find out why one of us has gone missing.

International Women’s Day doesn’t feel like a celebration, it feels like a day of moarning. A day to remember that none of us have come out unscathed, and that even though we’ve made it this far, we are just as likely to end up as a hashtag as any of our sisters before us.


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