International Women’s Day needs to be a U.S. federal holiday

April 6, 2018


Sydney Wilfong

Girl power! International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on Mar. 8.

Most federal holidays, such as Washington’s Birthday (or Presidents’ Day when Lincoln is included) and Columbus Day are based on celebrating specific men or their accomplishments. Independence Day and Thanksgiving Day are based on colonial times when only men were leaders. Labor Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day were established when employment and war were mostly the work of men. Martin Luther King Day is about the man who worked toward racial equality. Even Christmas, whether it’s about Christ or Santa, is focused on a man as the symbol of the holiday. Outside of the federal holidays, there’s Mother’s Day, but as great as that day is for mothers, it focuses on only one role and it’s not a role all women experience or define themselves by. There’s Valentine’s Day, but while the focus there is women (although women can celebrate their men on Feb. 14 as well), it is a day for celebrating romance, not women as women. It is time to have a federal holiday that recognizes women’s accomplishments.

International Women’s Day, is a day for all women, no matter what their role, race, nationality, religion, sexuality, shape or size, to come together in order to celebrate the past and current achievements of women who have and will benefit generations to come.

As a young woman, seeing strong women participate in the women’s march, truly makes me inspired and honored to be a part of this great event. This holiday will help the women’s rights movement go further in their goals and perhaps make America more open-minded on the issues of equal pay between genders. Women need motivation, recognition and representation. Establishing this as a holiday, one where men have off work, is a step in this direction.

The holiday would be celebrated with marches, parades, wearing certain colors and activities at schools such as watching videos and learning about women’s rights and their accomplishments.

This day would also be a federal holiday for the little girls of America. I want these girls to have the same experience I have had with watching women’s marches; however, I want them to see it celebrated as a holiday. Little girls should be educated on their history and should have the knowledge of the achievements women have done for this country, and this is exactly what this holiday does. Little girls need to know they can be independent and strong with no limitations. If this day becomes a federal holiday, it will affect future generations for the better.

Both China and Russia celebrate this day as an official holiday–it’s time for America to do it as well. I wish this day would become a holiday as soon as possible; however, I don’t see that happening with our current President. But not to fear, there are enough strong women in the government who can help with that change.

For all those against the idea of celebrating International Women’s Day (if women celebrating their achievements throughout history bothers you that much), just think, if it’s ever made a federal holiday, you’ll at least have a day off–but remember to thank women for it.

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