Muna Al Fuzai

Every little thing done by any woman matters to a lot of people. This is a fact of life, and for this I say ‘thank you!’ Well, men, you have to deal with this day, because no matter how important you think you are, women carry out lots of different tasks at any time every single day of the year, so please let her make this day her own. She deserves it.

Women’s Day is not another Valentine’s Day. It is a day to recall, renew and revamp our thinking and appreciation for all women for what they do so life can go on. International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. It commemorates the struggle for women’s rights. Many countries celebrate International Women’s Day to remember the achievements of all women irrespective of their religion, language, culture and economic, social or political status.

The United Nations charter in 1945 was the first international convention that affirmed the principles of equality between men and women. Through time, the United Nations has tried to set up plans and programs to support and empower women to enable them to improve their conditions. I cannot say that the programs have benefited all women, but it is an attempt, and perhaps the most prominent and best attempt was the call to respect human rights and equality in rights for all humans. I believe in the empowerment of women by the United Nations to address political, economic and social challenges all over the world.

Women’s rights are not a gift from any man or await his approval. It is well known that many conservatives reject any kind of celebration on this day because of their backwardness, which led women to struggle and fight to get their rights.

Unfortunately, women’s rights today are still fragile and prone to shattering. There are voices within the community claiming that we honor women throughout the year as mothers, etc., but the truth is that men also issue laws against women without showing respect to their rights to defend their own issues. The most prominent example is the women’s right to attend college and attain higher education. Does the man or the family have any right to prevent a girl from getting a university education? Arab reality confirms that there are still families that hold the upper hand in determining the fate of a girl.

Yesterday, I read a sad story about an Arab girl who killed herself because her family prevented her from completing her university education and forced her to marry someone they chose. This led her to depression and suicide, and the community lost a young woman. No one speaks about honor crimes or the fact that some girls are still forced to marry their relatives, whether they approve it or not. That fact is that until today, there are many challenges that confront women around the globe.

Sad to say, women are still resisting the macho culture that prevents them from being recognized and labeled as second-class citizens. Women’s success stories are few and limited due to the problems they face on a universal level. The UN’s call to empower women still hasn’t found its way to many countries and people, and this program needs a lot of work. Maybe the UN needs to rephrase its agenda and action plan on this issue.

Still, March 8 is a good day to remind the people how valuable you are. Ladies, enjoy the day and remember that you are fabulous and wonderful and a day without you in the life of your beloved ones is nothing.

Happy Women’s Day!

By Muna Al-Fuzai

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