Women's History Month: Making A Safer World For The 97%
Updated: Apr 8
We can all agree that Women’s History Month felt a little different this year, and before you ask, no it’s not because of COVID (this time).
It’s no secret that women are making history every day, um hello, you can look at women like Madam Kamala Harris, our new VP! But in the midst of a time of celebration, we must acknowledge the ongoing mourning taking place around us. You may have noticed an influx of #EducateYourSons posts and the 97% hashtag being shared on your TL or FYP.
If you were wondering what the message was behind the movement, you're in luck because today we are breaking down what it means and how the world can make it a safer place for women.
What is the 97%?
Earlier this month, the United Nations of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women released a report that revealed 97% of women, aged 18-24 in the United Kingdom, have experienced sexual harassment. Although that report only captures the UK, it resonated with women from all around the world.
As a result, women have been using their social platforms to share their stories and increase awareness. We live in a fad-style society, where it's easy for issues to matter one day and be gone the next. But this isn’t just another fad. It’s real experiences from your neighbors, friends, sisters, cousins, etc.
Real women. Real stories. Women everywhere have always had to go above and beyond to feel safe. This statistic just confirmed the struggle that almost all women experience.
Taking a Stand
So let’s talk about it. Often times in response to a survivor speaking out, the narrative media and society capture, places the blame on the woman.
“Her clothes were too tight.”
”Why was she out so late alone.”
“She should’ve never put herself in that situation.”
The list goes on and on. But that's not the case at all. No woman is at fault for being sexually harassed. This movement has given women the space to share some of their deepest pains and traumas with others openly. That is not easy to do. While freeing for some, it has also been extremely triggering for others. If you've ever experienced sexual harassment and need support, please check out the sources linked below.
Although it's Women's History, in true world fashion, when there is a benefit for women the indirect impact is a benefit for ALL, because let's be real, Queen Bey said it best, "Who run the world? Girls".
In parallel to the 97%, there has been a wide sharing of #EducateYourSons. This tag is important because it's shifting the accountability, enabling parents, teachers, uncles, brothers, and all male-identifying individuals to become better. It is allowing them to be better at understanding and better at teaching boys how they can all play a role in making the world a safer place for women. Often times society runs away from feminism, painting a narrative that it's trying to destroy all men. But feminism, the kind focusing on equality, is the answer we need to run towards.
If history has taught us one thing, it’s that if not corrected, it will be repeated. As we continue to closeout the month celebrating milestones made by women, let's be encouraged to also challenge the men around us to educate themselves to help make the world a safer place for all women. Accountability cannot continue to fall on deaf ears. Just because it's not all men doesn't mean it isn't all women.
Like so many trailblazing women before us, we must continue to do our part to make the world a better safer place.
Resources: (resources from CDC.gov)
Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
Visit online.rainn.org to chat one-on-one with a trained RAINN support specialist, any time 24/7.
Call the OWH HELPLINE: 1-800-994-9662