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Do We Still Need International Women’s Day?

I’m very proud to say that my employer, Kronos, supports International Women’s Day.  You can find our youtube video celebrating IWD here. I wrote about this event last year, reflecting on the beginning of the contemporary feminist movement and how that affected my mother and me.  So 40+ years later, how come we still need to have a day that asks us to reflect on the role of women in society around the world.  Haven’t we put those irksome issues of self determination and equality behind us?

Two words – Rush Limbaugh.  Unless you’ve completely avoided all human, internet, print, television and radio contact for the last week, you know that Rush Limbaugh has alienated a huge swath of humanity with his misogynistic comments about Sandra Fluke.  There are fraught issues behind Rush’s scurrilous remarks- contraception, religious freedom, and the role the Federal government should or shouldn’t play in determining how organizations should support their employees.  I’ll leave those debates to other more appropriate forums.

Around the world, women continue to struggle for equality in basic human rights – control over their own bodies and destinies.  We’ve come a very long way in providing women with equal protection under the law during my lifetime, but Rush Limbaugh’s use of sexual slurs to put a woman in her place are an unwelcome reminder of a not so distant past.  Let’s hope that International Women’s Day helps women and men remember that those protections were hard won and worth protecting.

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