March 8 is International Women's Day. That's today!
Every year at this time, we spend extra time reflecting on the importance and the contributions of women to our societies. We celebrate the achievements and successes in fields like science, tech, leadership, sports, and entertainment.
And we also think about the work left to do to bring equal rights to all women, everywhere.
Countries often choose a theme every year to bring extra focus and meaning to this annual event. This year in Canada, the theme is Every Woman Counts.
That phrase might sound obvious but women's rights are still being challenged and fought for daily, both around the world and here in Canada. Every Woman Counts is a reminder of the basic dignity and access all women should enjoy, regardless of background, age, race, or location.
Asking questions and learning
Perhaps you've heard about the rights to education and jobs that are currently being denied women in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban. Or maybe it is an issue that is closer to home, such as the rights of Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
Some issues sound like things that can only be addressed by adults and governments, right?
It is true that these issues are complex. But as you grow up, you will have the opportunity to make more decisions and engage further in activism. And you will be able to vote. Or maybe you take part in politics yourself!
Until then, there is still so much you can do. You can do research and learn more about what important women through history have brought to our societies. You can wear purple today to signal to others that you respect women's rights and are aware that many things still need to improve for women. And you can ask questions of adults to encourage discussion—and action—around women's issues.
Above all, as people like Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg have proven, you don't need to be an adult to influence the world! Activism—that's the action of promoting and rallying support for a particular cause—is something kids can do too.
Happy International Women's Day!