International Women’s Day takes place every year on the 8th March. This year, the theme was building an equal world for everyone, regardless of their gender. But, in the 21st century, is there still a need for Women’s Day?


In 1908, women became increasingly aware and annoyed about the inequalities that they had compared to men and this eventually led to a group of them marching for voting rights and equal pay compared to the higher wages of the men who do the same job as them. Eventually, the day spread around the world, and in 1975, the United Nations acknowledged it for the first time. Since then, the day has received awareness from all over the world.


Since the first International Women’s Day, women have slowly gained more equal rights to men. During the world wars, women eventually were able to get jobs that only men were able to do before then. Also, during the wars, women were given the vote for the first time, allowing them to be politically equal to men. The gender pay gap is also slowly falling as men and women are being able to be paid similar wages for the same job.


However, some gender inequalities still exist in society today. The #metoo movement has revealed that even now, women are still suffering abuse from men and the gender pay gap, although smaller than it has been, still exists. Only a quarter of people in power at the moment are women, despite the fact that they make up half of the global population. In the developing world, women are significantly less likely to receive an education and most of the global illiterate population of the world are women. They are also less represented in the media than men are.

Locally, International Women’s Day was marked in youth centers around Richmond through Women’s Week events between 3-5 March. Events ranged from girls talking to each other about their experiences in society and school, being a girl, to live performances. The event on the 4th March included a variety of performances from female bands to speeches from women and girls to singing and rapping. Although boys and men were allowed to watch, the event was purely run by girls and women and really revealed that they are able to be incredible musicians and speakers, regardless of their DNA.


Hopefully, as time goes on, gender equality will become higher up on the political agenda. As more changes are being made to make society a fairer place for everyone, regardless of gender, the pay gap will hopefully disappear and one day, women may be completely to men as awareness for gender inequality rises.


By Isabella Topley, Tolworth Girls School.