Editorial - 2021: The Year of the Woman?
We’d like to believe that being a woman is becoming a bit easier with each year that passes. A variety of advancements related to women’s rights, representation in government, access to healthcare, and other opportunities have happened — at varying rates — across the world.
The year 2020 was speculated to be labeled the Year of the Woman. The original Year of the Woman was 1992 — a year in which many female senators were elected. The term again returned in 2018 after 103 women were elected to the House.
If these women’s political accomplishments were given such a grand label, wouldn’t the achievement of Kamala Harris being elected vice president also be labeled as such? Other notable statistics include the fact that the percentage of women candidates in gubernatorial and state legislative races saw a jump from 25% to 32% between 2016 and 2020, according to OpenSecrets. Women made up 44% of Democratic candidates and 23% of Republican candidates in 2020 elections. This a vast improvement, but there is still room for more change.
Other information about the status of women is available through the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women (CSW). Their goal is to improve the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Each year, CSW members come together to plan and discuss how they can use their platform to make change and improve the lives of women. The priority theme for 2021 is women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life. Throughout this month, remember to consider the changes that have been made and do not shy away from considering what you can do to improve the lives of women whether that be starting a conversation, voting, or showing support for women across the world.