This past Tuesday was International Women’s Day, and the message behind such an occasion is still very important, necessary and timely.
As we come off celebrating the day, time should be taken to reflect on the challenges that women still face today. Unequal compensation and women’s health issues are still hotly debated — but these subjects can be traced back to much earlier times.
Stories come from all over the country about young female students being taken out of school for outfits deemed too revealing by administrators, even despite the widespread acceptance of boys shedding their shirts to play basketball or in the stands at football games. Girls’ sports teams have a harder time getting necessary funding for new uniforms and equipment, and many young women still get a puzzled look from others if they express interest in certain educational fields.
We heard one story in which a male engineering student told a female classmate that she must be lost as she walked in for the first day, also telling her that she wouldn’t last long.
It’s not only up to women to push back against sexist beliefs, thoughts or stigmas. It is also up to men.
We need to teach our boys at a young age how to view women — as their equals. We need to instill in them the correct way to value women and understand that women can make just as many contributions as females can.
Women can only achieve true equality if men stand by their side as partners. Let’s strive to raise a generation of men who will be proud to be those partners.