I grew up with a mom who is a feminist. I was taught that gender equality is extremely important and that culture, not biology sets limits on women's capabilities. My mother always told me to be financially self-sufficient. I never remember her telling me to get married and have kids. She wanted me to use my mind and have a positive influence on the world.
Ironically, when I was studying sociology as an undergrad, I became far more interested in socioeconomic status and how that influences individual freedom and choices. Of course, socioeconomic status and gender are inextricably intertwined.
Later on, in my studies the impact of gender roles and cultural stereotypes returned as central players in many of the psychological and sociocultural issues I was examining. There is no doubt that inequality and antiquated gender stereotypes are still hanging on, far more than I would have expected in 2015.
Sure a lot has changed - women have now entered what were once traditionally male-dominated areas of the workforce, for example - but there is a lot that still needs to be changed.
Women are still valued as objects to be owned and controlled by men, and in Western culture, there are absurd expectations for us in terms of how we should look. Violence against women is still rampant. These, and other issues, will be addressed on International Women's Day on March 8th.
If you want to learn more about how you can participate in this important day in your community, please visit this site.
Perhaps because I have two daughters, I have never felt a greater desire to see positive change continue for women. Please get involved!
Have a great weekend.