By: Munazza Khan – Assistant Editor
Every year, the month of March marks the celebration of Women’s History Month. Many
institutions join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in history. Economic, political and social achievements of women are celebrated globally throughout this month. Many countries around the world celebrate the holiday with demonstrations,
educational initiatives and customs such as presenting women with gifts and flowers. So as the world celebrated the achievements of women over the past month, let’s assess whether in recent times, are women really receiving the rights owed to them? Women’s History Month has been sponsored by the United Nations since 1975. The UN General Assembly described that the reason behind observing this month was “To recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.” Undoubtedly, women are progressively demonstrating their abilities to contribute to society and are now more than ever an instrumental force in shaping the fundamentals of society. The past year, however, has had damaging effects on the success of women not only in the workplace, but also in their homes. The Head of UN Women called the Covid-19 pandemic “the most discriminatory crisis” that women and girls have ever experienced, pointing to women losing jobs far more often than men, a “shadow pandemic” of domestic violence, and 47 million more women being pushed into living on less than $1.90 a day this year. The executive director of the UN Women’s Agency, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, observed that the world also faces more orphans and child-headed homes emerging from the pandemic, along with an increase in child marriage. Research shows that 59 percent of women are having to spend more time on domestic work since the inception of Covid-19, widening the digital gender gap leaving many women unprepared for the future. (Time Magazine) According to the World Health Organization’s latest reports, the highest rates of intimate partner violence in the past 12 months — 16% — was against young women aged 15 to 24. Secretary-General said “looking across the world, we see that women voices remain missing from the highest levels of leadership.” Female heads of state only exist in 22 countries, with Europe topping the list. The slow recovery of certain countries is a plight that stems from pretentious male
politicians, whereas the leaders who have dealt most effectively with the poised threats
of coronavirus have been their female counterparts, leading the road to recovery for their nations. This only emphasises the urgent need to support women especially in vocations that
play an integral role in shaping the fundamentals of society, by granting them equal rights and protection, in order to achieve the peace and social progress that the world is craving for, which was the original reason behind the observance of Women’s History Month.