By Morgan Caplan
Every year on March 8, people around the world raise awareness for International Women’s Day. The day stands out this year in particular, though, as it follows the historic Women’s Marches, where all across the world, women, men, girls and boys were marching for their sisters and mothers.
International Women’s Day, which began in honor of the 1908 garment workers’ strike, has evolved into an occasion when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to partitions. It became a trend following 1909 — International Women’s Day’s first year — for women to fight for universal suffrage, and to use this day as a vehicle of change. According to the United Nations, which signed the first international agreement for equality, it is a time to reflect on progress made and to call for change. This year is no different.
Despite the hateful rhetoric that arose during and after the election season, women at the University of Maryland and in D.C. have already formulated their plans for the day. With the large presence for the Women’s March on Washington, this International Women’s Day, the Women’s March group announced “A Day Without A Woman,” which will be the tune of the strike.
“The theme correlates with many other movements being done, such as the day without immigrants,” said Shelby Fillinger, a senior civil engineering major. “I think it brings attention [to] the number and strength of the women of the United States.”
This day and its message has resonated for more than 100 years, fostering many women’s rights protests and marches around the world. But It is now more pertinent with the resentment students felt on campus after the election results.
“We are half of this country, and our voice should and will be heard,” Fillinger said. “I will be attending the march to lend a voice to women, minorities and immigrants who all deserve to be treated equally.”