A rainbow of women holding hands in a circle

Women Fought Hard

Women have been through a lot. For example, years ago we could not even wear pants. If a woman did wear them, she was not allowed to wear them out so the public can see them. We could not speak out of turn. There were women who had to walk behind their husbands (this still happens today because of their culture).

Heck, we couldn’t even work a job; we were only homemakers that took care of the home, washed the clothes, cooked for the family, took care of the children and husband. There was not a great amount of respect for women. We didn’t have a voice or say-so over many things. We didn’t even have rights over our bodies as human beings because our voices did not matter at all.

Recognizing women's history

Since the 19th century, things have changed for women like voting: the 19th amendment prohibits states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.

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But, we still are fighting battles such as equal pay, rights for transgender women, Title X, reproductive rights, domestic violence, incarceration rates, etc. International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate and honor so many achievements that women have made through history. All women from different cultures, backgrounds, races, and religions coming together fighting for women’s rights.

Women living with HIV

Did you know that, globally, women account for over half the amount of people who are living with HIV and our young women/youth ages 10-24 are twice as likely to be diagnosed with HIV?1 There are many factors why these rates exist.

For one, HIV disproportionately impacts women and our young girls because of the responsibilities formed by cultures and the unequal social and economic status as well. Not to mention, the uncomfortable perspectives when it comes to sex before marriage and how difficult it can be for a woman or young girl in another country to have access to sexual health and HIV services.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this article, we are still fighting for things like diminishing gender inequality, and of course, there’s the violence that women and young girls at risk of HIV frequently encounter. According to Avert, AIDS-related complications is the leading cause of death for women who are 15 to 49 years of age.1

Unity & addressing the specific needs of women

How do we come together as such strong vessels when we are there for our families while holding down a job and dealing with work? We neglect and forget to take care of ourselves without realizing that if we are not well, we can’t continue to be there for the ones who need us.

We must work together, ladies, lift each other up, support one another, and stand as one. HIV, reproductive rights, domestic violence...there are so many issues to work on. But I will say we are unstoppable, resilient, amazing and strong! Never give up and never stop fighting.

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