Sacrificing rights is tradition

Nick Nelson / Staff Photo Illustration

International Women’s Day is not celebrated the same way in every country

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a holiday that is meant to be celebrated worldwide, yet some countries still have not guaranteed women their basic rights. 

IWD celebrates women and how much they have achieved over the years. The topic of women’s rights cannot be discussed without addressing the rights they are deprived of.

Having a day that celebrates women’s rights does not mean that all of them have been achieved. There are still many that women lack. Educating both men and women on how much women have achieved is essential to bridging the gap between genders and creating an equal standard. Not only is IWD about remembering the rights women have achieved, it is also a day to continue empowering women all over the world.

Pierce College exchange student Linh Tin explained that in Asia, they view women as inferior to men and treat them poorly because they have traditional values. “They think that men are the most important in the family who can decide everything, and I think we should change that.”

Mina Wong / Courtesy Photo
Mina Wong shares her perspective from China.

Mina Wong, an exchange student from Hong Kong, said,“I feel like International Women’s Day is not that important in Hong Kong. I feel like Hong Kong cannot do gender equality.”

“We always think that (an) adult woman is a housewife; we won’t think that she has a job or anything, but all the time we think that men are the ones who work. The ones who earn money to support the family,” she said.

Wong said that based on her experience, Pierce gives women more rights than her school in Hong Kong because they were still in the process of improving gender equality.

Even students who were born in America but have immigrant parents also view IWD in a different way. Although they grew up in America and were influenced by the society, it was not enough to break down the traditions passed down from older generations.

Mariam Dzyk / Courtesy Photo
Miriam Dzyk shares her perspective from Russia.

“The men in the house take over the woman’s responsibilities of doing things and they just see how it is from a woman’s perspective  of what they do on the daily,” Mariam Dzyk said when asked how her family celebrates IWD. Dzyk is a Pierce student with immigrant parents who moved from Russia 26 years ago. Despite the years, the tradition of a woman being solely responsible for the household still stands.

The perspective of men on IWD is just as important as women’s. They also play a role in the sense that for a long time, men have had the rights that women are fighting for. Along with women fighting for their basic rights, men are also bringing attention to themselves.

Sophiya Galanesi / Staff Photo
David Karcha shares his perspective from America.

“It’s always been about men, so it’s now shifting that focus equally to both men and women,” said David Karcha, a Pierce student working toward his engineering degree. “It’s changing, with the ‘Me Too’ movement for example. Men can’t get their way with everything now, it’s like to show that they’re limited.” 

Sophiya Galanesi / Staff Photo
Sammy Tang shares his perspective from America.

Another student, Sammy Tang, said, “They (women) don’t have the same things as we (men) do, like equal pay, birth control – and it’s weird that men have a say in everything.” 

To empower women, Tang said, “Ensure that they can have their rights. It’s weird to say this, but I want them to have basic rights.” The goal is not to surpass men, but rather to create an equal playing field.

Students given opportunity to “Fight like a girl”

Self-defense class empowers women

“Fight Like a Girl” is a phrase commonly associated with females being weak and inferior, making them easy targets. Student Life is using that phrase to change that. On March 8, the Lakewood police Department will be bringing their Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) self-defense class to Pierce College.

March 8

Noon - 3 p.m.

Fort Steilacoom Campus

Cascade Building
Performance Lounge

Aidan Helt