“We want to use this holiday as a way to create a safe school environment for every type of woman,” said Esme Segall, a junior in the Berkeley High School (BHS) Women’s Student Union (WSU). In the US, March is known as Women’s History Month, and around the world, March 8 is known as International Women’s Day.
Although there have been significant improvements for women since the start of this great holiday, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. Despite this, there is a glimmer of hope. In the age of the #MeToo movement, and the increasing scrutiny on men in power using it for the wrong reasons, the attitude towards the advancement of women is changing.
The fight against sexism isn’t just taking place in courtrooms, it’s happening in the halls and classrooms of BHS. With BBQ Club just recently put to an end and other sexist groups on the rise, the fight for our female students’ safety in and out of the classroom is far from over.
Luckily, there is a group on campus that is working towards this goal: the Women’s Student Union (WSU). The objective of the club is to honor the accomplishments of all women around the world, along with showing that “feminism is for everyone. No matter your gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. … it is really about the liberation of all people, and the more people who get involved, the more power we all have to enact change,” said the WSU Presidents in an email.
“International Womxn’s Day means celebrating all womxn and recognizing the amazing things that they do and the past, present, and future contributions that womxn bring to our world,” said the WSU Presidents. For the holiday, the WSU hosted a celebration in the courtyard. They set up tables with different activities that people could participate in, along with having a speaker playing solely songs by women.
The combination of Ariana Grande’s “God is a woman,” and other symbols of feminism came together to create an inclusive environment where women were the focus. At one of the tables, there was a poster where people could paint anything they wanted that had to do with women. Another table featured a woman-themed jeopardy game and a submission box where students could put in a story of a woman who inspired them.
The importance of having this holiday was, “about helping girls realize their own potential and building their confidence in their identity and value as a womxn,” said the club Presidents. We all have to thank the women in our lives for their guidance, love, and endless support. Let us use this month to appreciate women by treating them with the respect and dignity they more than deserve.