By Alex Wara
For the past decades women have always been told that they were not allowed to do something in society. We were told that we were not equal, so women marched at Seneca Falls. We were told that we were not allowed to make choices about our own bodies, so we took our case to the Supreme Court. We were told that a woman could never dream of holding prominent positions in government, so we ran for office.
Every time women have been told that they couldn’t do something, we have proven naysayers wrong and done something about it.
However, the sad reality is that even today when women are running for President, holding positions at multi-million dollar companies and becoming role models in their communities, there are still stereotypes and sexism that lingers in society.
We cannot ignore the fact that women still make seventy-seven cents on the dollar. Or that we still have to listen to our country argue about whether a woman should be able to make a decision about her own body and how we are still not clear on the definition of rape, when issues such as immigration, gun violence and the deficit take a back seat.
Here is something that many know but some have yet to find out: Women are fighters.
Just take a look back at the women’s history movement. There have been women that knew very well that they would be threatened, mistreated and tried to be stopped, but they kept fighting through all of the obstacles because they knew that there would be a better tomorrow for themselves and for those in front of them.
Even women today have to carry on the fight that women were fighting years ago.
It is up to every single woman and man to keep on fighting for equal rights for everyone, no matter their ethnicity, pay scale or sex.
As individuals we have to think about what we are doing to eliminate sexism in the work place and in our schools. When a woman is passed up for a job because of the sole fact that she is female, we shouldn’t call ourselves an equal world. When a little girl who is 5 years old already knows that she is not equal to her classmate, we still have work to do. When a high school student is too ashamed of the way she looks, we still have a long path ahead of us. Also, when someone doesn’t vote for a qualified candidate because she is a woman we cannot call ourselves a politically open minded country.
That is why it’s important to continue on the conversation about equality in our homes and communities. Think about the last time you mentored a young woman or volunteered at an organization that helps women and children in your community. Did you make your voice heard at the ballot box? Or did you stand back and let others guide the direction of your rights.
We cannot move forward unless we continue the fights that have been started for us and fight the new ones that have arisen.
Many people locally and nationally have started to bridge the gap of inequality but it seems that we have a long road ahead of us.
Not all of the issues will be fixed overnight but the sooner we get started the sooner we can build on the changes that those behind us started.
Let’s continue the fights that women have been fighting for decades.