International Women's Day

I have a beautiful association with International Women’s Day- As I was walking through the Lisbon airport to catch my flight back home from Portugal I was handed a rose by one of the many volunteers passing out flowers to all the women traveling that day. I was floored by this gesture of appreciation and I have carried that simple moment along with me since 2017. But, is this day really all that “happy” when there is still so much injustice going on? Well I find this day to be extremely important because it allows the opportunity for our sisters around the world to know, we are still fighting for them! I recently watched a documentary that showed how women in India do not have access to sanitary hygiene products and they are not allowed to speak of their period publicly. Can you imagine that? and here in the states we joke that a man really loves you when he buys you tampax at the grocery store. Well, could you fathom not even being able to buy your own and having to use a dirty piece of cloth when your monthly friend showed up? Or, living in a country where 98% of females are subjected to genital mutilation? in Somalia this is preformed on most girls before they even turn 15. It comes along with a long list of medical complications from lifetime urination issues to death. In El Salvador women are subjected to strict abortion laws where even those who have miscarriages or a stillbirth face lengthy prison sentences. The literacy rate is astounding in Yemen, and they are not the only country that has limited education for girls. These are just a few struggles women are facing daily around the globe. As a female in the United States, it makes fighting for equal pay seem petty when these women are stripped of basic human rights. We need to continue to educate ourselves on the horrifying realities and work with organizations that are eager to see change.

Ashton Saldana