So yesterday was Women's Day in South Africa, and while I fully understand and sympathise that the treatment, regard and perception of women in countries like South Africa differs greatly to that of the United Kingdom and many Western countries, it sparked quite a bit of anger in me, as does many issues regarding women/feminism/sexism.
Firstly, I find it quite patronising that there are specific days highlighting women's rights (International Women's Day being 8 March) in the first place, implying that all the other 364 days of the year are Men's Days. I think that even in 2014 there is so much more to be done to tackle sexism and misogyny, but to me feminism is about integrating men and women for equality rather than separating the sexes and treating them different. Obviously these Women's Days are important because they bring to light the contemporary and perpetual issues to do with gender equality; for many women (and men) it is their day of the year to tell their story to people who are in the same position and there to help, and who can aid them in recovering. These people need the facilities and support EVERYDAY of the year, rather than one allocated day; sexism and inequality should be tackled EVERYDAY of the year for as long as it takes to be obliterated; no woman or man should feel like they aren't entitled to their basic human rights or that they can't have their say EVER.
As a British feminist I can't even begin to fathom what it must be like living in places like South Africa, because their culture differs to mine. But when I tell people that I am a feminist and that my absolute goal in life is to help oppressed and mistreated people in these countries, the response is usually "Well that's a great goal, Rhiannon, and I wish you the best of luck but do you really think anything actually needs to change?". Short answer - yes. Long answer - in all honesty I hope that by the time I reach my goal, I hope that change has already come in to action because other people with the same mindset and drive as me have already taken it upon themselves to spearhead said change. I'm not saying we should scrap Women's Day, because it campaigns for help and support for contemporary problems faced by contemporary society. What I'm saying is that we shouldn't omit women/sexism/feminism every other day of the year, and that highlighting women and inequality shouldn't be an annual purge.

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