By Freya Constable
When it comes to the history of those fighting for their rights and becoming equals in a society constantly upholding inequality, we must recognize the hardships, the progress and what is still to be accomplished. Women’s rights have been fought for since the beginning, and still are in this day and age. Whether that is for closing the wage gap, speaking up about sexual assault or trying to obtain equal opportunities, many have strived for reaching these goals for centuries. On the eighth of March, women all over the world came together to celebrate each other and everything and anything about being a woman.
Following the disappearance turned murder of Sarah Everard, many around the world, especially women, were outraged at the news. So much so, that it brought about a movement, with women taking to the streets and social media to demand justice for Everard and to stop the normalization of sexual assault. Furthermore, many women have come out to share their stories and experiences with sexual assault and harassment, hoping to inspire others to come forward. The violation and safety of women have been an issue brought up continuously throughout history, but more change has to be made in order for women to feel safe simply walking home.
This is not a women’s issue, it is everyone’s issue. That means that people must be held accountable for their actions or words against women, no matter how uncomfortable it may make them feel. When something questionable is occurring near you, try your best to safely remove the woman from that situation. Give women the credit they deserve and don’t take accomplishments away from them. Respect all women. Keep your distance in public spaces so as not to appear as a threat. Offer to walk your friends home. Talk to men about this issue, especially if you are a man yourself, and educate yourself on such topics.
97%. The overwhelming statistic shows that 97% of women between the ages of 18-24 have been sexually harassed in the United Kingdom. According to the WHO, about 1 in 3 women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. It is not a case of what they were wearing, what neighbourhood they were walking in, who they were with or any of the excuses that are being made for what happens to these women. The bottom line is that this should never happen. Women should feel free to walk the streets at night, or even during the day. They should not have to cut an evening short or get a male friend to walk them home simply because they know that something horrible could happen on the way back. Safety is one of the biggest concerns in this society and not enough is being done! Raise your voice and don’t be afraid to do so.
Editor Freya Constable