In a world of equity, women haven’t struggled for years to obtain the right to vote and drive throughout the world, they haven’t fought for equal pay only for companies to lack transparency between their employees and they haven’t had to protest against sexist treatment. 

But that’s a made-up world of equity, not our reality.

On a daily basis, women walk the streets in the daytime blasting music in their headphones to drown out the catcalling they hear with every step. Women walk the streets in the nighttime with their keys between their fingers and pepper spray attached to their keychain. 

Women think what around them could be used as a self-defence weapon if need be. Women think what if their extensive education will mean nothing next to the man with nothing but a high school diploma and a nice smile.

These hardships have become ingrained into many women’s daily lives, creating a sense of normality.

But this is not normal.

Injustice in the workplace is often overlooked due to the lack of company transparency regarding payroll and salary discrepancies between employees. With the statement that companies do not want to create tension between employees, they can continue paying women significantly less without being caught.

( credits: Pew Research Center)

As such, women are often treated with indirect sexism. This not only creates psychological challenges for women, being discouraged from speaking up, and men, who are slowly subconsciously creating a superiority complex against women.

Throughout Women’s Week, various events, seminars, workshops and campaigns are organized to engage communities and raise awareness. These activities often include panel discussions featuring influential women leaders, film screenings highlighting women’s stories, art exhibitions showcasing feminist art and grassroots initiatives empowering women at the local level. 

(Credits: Unsplash – Library of Congress)

Though women’s week is dedicated to raising awareness of such issues, it is important to also regard this week as a celebration of women’s achievements internationally. May it be a new law to help protect women’s rights or an individual achievement made, all of these progresses deserve to be celebrated and shared with the world. 

Sandy Ran Xu, a leader and role model, began her influential career as a CFO for Chinese E-commerce corporation JD.com where she held this position for over 3 years. In 2022, during her time as CFO, chairman Richard Qiangdong Liu attributed the company’s overwhelming success of $152 billion in revenue to none other than Sandy Ran Xu. Shortly thereafter, in May of 2023, she was named the first woman to be chief executive of the company, a huge milestone for women in business and an incredible encouragement for women to aim their dreams as high as they want. (Image: JD.com)

In December of 2021, Lynn Martin proved to women around the world the extent of where determination can take an individual. Her incredible skills have led her to assume the role of the 68th president of the New York Stock Exchange, an international mecca of trade, commerce and investment. While this achievement is impressive on its own, Martin went on to oversee not just the exchange but the entire NYSE Group. Having reached such a powerful and influential position, her contributions have led her to also assume the role of chair of the Data Services at Intercontinental Exchange, making her one of the most powerful women in the world according to Forbes World’s Most Powerful Women list. (Image: NYSE)

Besides her staggering success in the music industry, Rhianna successfully joined the retail and beauty industry through her makeup and skincare brand Fenty Beauty. The popularity of Fenty Beauty has translated into a higher income than any individual could have estimated, contributing to Rhiannas current net worth of over $1.5B. The beauty brand, which she co-owns with the LVMH group, has also seen numerous collaborations and campaigns under the creative directory of Rhianna such as the Savage x Fenty lingerie line of which she owns a 30% stake. Rhianna often states that her beauty brand was created after she had observed the lack of representation and product availability for a diverse range of skin tones and types. Wanting to make a change in the industry and provide all women with beauty products which suit them and their wants, she co-founded Fenty Beauty. On the Fenty Beauty website, the team states, “Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty & Fenty Skin after years of experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty—and still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones.” (Image: JB Lacroix & Getty Images)

Women’s Week serves as a powerful reminder and celebration of the progress and achievements made by women throughout history while also highlighting the many challenges still present. This week fosters empowerment and provides women a more influential voice to raise awareness of inequalities and gender based discrimination while also sharing their personal achievements internationally.