By Amber Shakil
LAHORE, Pakistan – International Women's Day, a holiday to honor women with love and respect, is celebrated in many countries every March 8.
In nations around the globe, there are events on that day to inspire women and celebrate their achievements.
But why do we celebrate the accomplishments of women – and pay extra respect – only on one day of the year?
There are 365 days in a year, and too often, the other 364 days find many women enduring cruelty and few voices raised against it. Every year, countless women and girls suffer violence, and in some places, it is simply for being female.
Girls in many nations are denied the right to education, or must risk their lives to get it. Many girls are married off as children before they can finish their education, losing the chance to continue in school and determine their own future.
And while all this is going on, we are happy to celebrate respect for women for only one day. Why are we celebrating it, when women are being humiliated around us and we are living our lives happily?
Even some well-educated people don't give women the liberty to get a job or live according to her own will.
If today every one of us stands and raises her voice against cruelty to women, if every man gives women the same rights as he has, then I believe it won’t be long before women will be able to live peacefully and happily.
If anyone wants to celebrate International Women’s Day, then he or she has to promise to save the lives of the women who are being killed for not having a dowry that meets the expectations of her in-laws, or being kept out of school or not allowed to drive or exercise other basic human rights only because of her gender.
Today, stand up. Change your mind. Help put a stop to every kind of violence. Help make this world a better place.
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