General Article The emptiness of International Women’s Day

Topic Selected: Gender Equality Book Volume: 432

Against glass-ceiling feminism.

By Nina Welsch

Last month, I came across a video on Twitter. A minute long, it showed footage of a nine-year-old girl in Afghanistan being dragged away from her mother by the fifty-eight-year-old man she was being forced to marry. ‘Don’t you dare look away,’ read one of the comments. I obeyed. The screams of both mother and daughter as they were pulled apart are still bothering me at night.

They are echoing in my mind today on International Women’s Day, an annual celebration of the accomplishments of women in all corners of the globe and reflection on the oppression that remains. As a concept, it’s rather ambitious in scope and often ends up a bit of mess tonally, with female leaders in politics and business paying lip service to the plight of abuse victims whilst simultaneously owning what #girlbosses they are. In the last few years, haunted by the spectre of gender identity, it’s become even more broad and icky in its focus.

The theme for 2023 is #...

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