International Women's Day

I never quite know what to think of International Women's Day as it rolls around each year. As a woman and a feminist, I'd like to think that there's not really any particular need for a specific day to promote gender equality. Sometimes I wonder if it's counterproductive to dedicate a day to pointing out the inequalities that exist, when what we really want is to feel equal. But the truth is, life as a woman, both naturally and sometimes unfairly, is very different to that of the life of a man, so I know that this day holds significance that extends far beyond my understanding.

As a middle class, white female living in the developed world, I understand that the inequalities that I face on almost a daily basis are minor compared to that of many women across the globe. It's disconcerting to read about the challenges they face, and often makes me reconsider the extent to which the issues that I'm faced with on the basis of my gender really matter. When we think about those worse off than us, it it can seem like our problems are not worthy of any discussion.

Despite this, if we don't try to raise awareness of the issues we face, change will never occur. So for the sake of ourselves, our mothers, our sisters and our friends, it's important to shed light on some of the challenges we are expected to overcome as women, in order to hold people accountable for their actions.

T-shirt, Topshop // Polo-neck, & Other Stories // Jeans, COS // Belt, Topshop // Runners, Adidas

It scares me that my gender impacts almost everything I do. When I'm spending long hours in the library, I have to consider the consequences of walking home alone in the dark. When I'm out with my friends, I am aware that it's likely that someone will assume they have the right to disrespect my personal space. When I go for drinks, I have to be cautious not to leave mine unattended. When I apply for a job, I have to consider the impact of competing with male counterparts for the position. When I drive, I am aware that many will assume I'm incompetent on the basis of my gender, regardless of my ability and despite the fact that we all had to pass the same test to get the same licence.

It's disappointing that so many of the scenarios that we, as women, have to navigate through everyday are dictated by our gender and the assumptions people make on its basis. What's more frustrating is that many of these problems are beyond the remit of our control. Until society at large is held responsible for these inequalities, it's unlikely that any real change will occur.

As well as holding each other accountable for the actions of society at large, we as women, and Irish women in particular, have to learn how to celebrate ourselves and our peers. When I think of our inability to support one another, I am reminded how the phrase "she loves herself," is commonly used as an insult. It's disheartening that we frame any form of self-love so negatively. 

So on this International Women's Day, I challenge you to make an effort to hold your peers accountable for their actions and their words. Use your words to build women up instead of tearing them down, and find it within yourself to realise how intelligent, interesting and amazing you really are.

Chat soon,


  1. I hate that as a society women have to be so careful going out with their friends, making sure their drinks don't get spiked and having to be somewhat aware at all times just in case something might happen.


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