Happy International Women’s Day – 2018

What is “Happy International Women’s Day” to incarcerated women? Women living in poverty? Women in war-torn countries? Women raising families in refugee camps? Women forced to sell sexual favours for aid? Women forced into the mountains and arms of revolution? Women fighting in the front lines? Women kidnapped, trafficked into sexual slavery? Women facing racism that kills them and their children? Alienated women in low wage labor? Women in forced marriages? Women who are only girls, yet still forced into womanhood because of early marriage? Women who do not have access to reproductive rights and abortion? Women displaced, women raped, women violated, women murdered, women illiterate, women denied, women forced, women sold, women abused, women harassed, women gas-lighted, women denied dignity, women driven mad by the injustice of it all and that of her sisters position; women denied the very term womanhood?

But failure to self-reflect, to be critical, aware, to recognize and to stand in firm active solidarity with the oppressed, silenced, marginalized, and colonized—the majority of us—is the objective of the system that we live under.

Celebrate Women’s Day. Because there is much to honor. But commit to smashing capitalism, cis-normative hetero-patriarchy, and white supremacy. This system, committed to the literal erasure and denial of your very essence, wants you to say “Happy Women’s Day” and move on, content that at least we have a day worth mentioning, as if all is well in the world. Nothing short of militant activism can ever destroy this system. Only women aware, women informed, women angry, women raising feminist children, women armed can change the world!

Celebrate Women’s Day. Because there is much to be inspired by. But reflect on how you contribute to women on women oppression.

Celebrate Women’s Day. But know that it is freedom for all or freedom for none. That so long as even a single person is oppressed because of being a woman, none of us are truly free!

In solidarity with the freedom fighting women on the frontlines of Afrin.

Dr. Hawzhin Azeez

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