In the U.S. no one knows it is International Women’s Day. It’s not even listed on half the calendars. It says “Mardi Gras” on most calendars I saw. Of course we would be celebrating a big party with booze flowing than the rights of over half the population.
In many parts of the world, women get the day off from work and men give them flowers. How can we start that tradition here? We hold an annual event for IWD every year, co-hosted by our International Student & Scholar center, but I think next year we should have every woman take a personal day and let the university see what it would be like to function without women, just for a day.
The Republicans are attacking reproductive rights in our country with only two and a half months in office. And it isn’t just happening at the federal level. State legislatures are already gearing up to limit access and to try to pass laws given fetal rights over a woman’s. Here’s an interesting attack in Georgia “H.B. 1, a law proposed in the House of Representatives of the Georgia General Assembly by State Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta). This law would not only make abortion completely illegal in Georgia (the bill refers to it as ‘prenatal murder’), but it would also put a burden on any woman who has a miscarriage to prove that it happened naturally and was not induced in any way. The result would be that every single miscarriage in the state of Georgia would have to be reported to state officials. Many could be potentially investigated by the authorities, a daunting proposition given that anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of known pregnancies miscarry. The penalties for this so-called prenatal murder, whether by abortion or by a miscarriage that authorities determine had “human involvement,” include life in prison—or even death.”
In South Dakota, Iowa, & Nebraska lawmakers are looking at making the killing of abortion doctors “justifiable homicide.” Justifiable homicide? Sometimes I wonder if I went to sleep in October 2010 and woke up in Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale this year. If we want to make the world a better place for women, we know that giving them freedom in deciding when to bear children makes a huge difference. According to today’s Huffington Post, “an estimated 215 million women in the developing world want to avoid a pregnancy, but are not currently using a modern method of birth control.”
As we move into Women’s History Month, perhaps we can begin reflecting on what we are doing to make this a better world for women and staying on top of what our elected officials are trying to do in the name of budget deficits to limit our freedom.