Be Bold and Intersectional For a Change

Kezia Aria

In a kyriarchal system built against us, to oppress and to exclude us, self-love is an act of revolution.

This piece is for marginalised women who have hurt, who have faced adversity, and have been repeatedly excluded from mainstream feminist movements and spaces. For Indigenous women, women of colour, queer women, trans and gender non-confirming women, homeless women and women with disabilities. It’s for our strong and brave migrant mothers. It’s for women who have been forced to flee their homes and sacrifice everything that they own in order to take a chance and board an unsafe vessel, seeking a seemingly impossible dream of safety. It’s for Muslim women whose bodily autonomy is repeatedly questioned by both the West and the Middle East. This is for women who don’t enjoy sex, who experience little or no romantic attraction to others. It’s for women who weren’t provided with education, for women who are busy balancing jobs, and for women who sacrifice their career aspirations to stay at home. This is for you.

Today is International Women’s Day — a day we acknowledge and commemorate the women who came before us and are fighting this very day, and a time we stand proud and defiant as we reassert our worth as women.

Looking back, we thank our mothers for raising us and our ancestors before them. We thank the first women who were brave enough to speak up. We thank Black women who, despite unimaginable suffering, continually lend us strength — a blessing we urgently need to return. We thank the women who surround us and the relationships we have built, helping us through times of emotional exhaustion and desperation, emerging stronger than ever.

We are women — intelligent, complex, compassionate, passionate and entirely incomprehensible human beings — hear us roar.

This year, #BeBoldForChange and put intersectionality into practice.

Challenge bias and inequality by calling people out within your own circles, question and redefine the status quo, and call for fair representation.

Campaign against violence by identifying male violence in domestic settings, educating youth about healthy and positive relationships, and recognising toxic language and behaviour.

Forge women’s advancement by providing opportunities for women, appointing women to leadership roles, and encouraging young women in STEM subjects.

Celebrate women’s achievements by crediting their contributions, showcasing the successes of talented and intelligent women, and recognising the obstacles they had to face and overcome.

Champion women’s education by launching or funding women-focused scholarships, valuing diversity for greater representation in following generations, and celebrate women who invent or discover scientific breakthroughs.