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Do We Really Need An International Women's Day?

08/03/2017 13:03 GMT | Updated 08/03/2017 13:04 GMT

all women everywhere

Women's Day will come and go with many unaware of its existence.

There will be mutterings that we don't need a special day for women or that there should be a men's day.

Well yes we do - because there still isn't equality in the first world let alone the third.

The problems are clearly far worse in certain countries where women have no freedom - they aren't allowed to choose their partner, have a job, take contraception or be gay. This is a serious battle that is to be be fought on all fronts and needs aid and money, and government intervention.

But are we so far ahead of them in the UK, US and other western countries? Where if you are raped you might be told you 'asked for it'. Where you might not be given a job because you might have a baby in the future. Where there are more men on company boards called John then women?‎ A world where most women earn less than men and will always earn less in the foreseeable future.

These constraints are outside of our control but we have also created our own shackles that impede us every day. We freed ourselves from the obligation to stay at home, of being chained to the kitchen sink. Yet we are now slaves to another master - the mirror.

Is it freedom to feel we 'have to put our faces on' before we can leave the house or that we need to wear trousers because we don't like our legs.

For many appearance dictates happiness and it rules lives.

Women spend over an hour a day on beauty prep, 90 minutes a week on selfies yet only 4% of the world consider themselves beautiful. And for teen girls the situation is much worse. Three quarters of ten/eleven year olds think they are ugly and 90% hate one thing about themselves. As a result two thirds stop doing the things they love - swimming, ballet, because they feel fat or awkward. (Source - BeReal government campaign and Dove self-esteem research)

Their role models have transformed from Amelia Earhart, Emmeline Pankhurst to Kim Kardashian and ‎Paris Hilton. Talented women in their own right, but ones who advocate narcissism and physical perfection to millions every day.

‎If we emptied every magazine and website of 'beauty related content' there would be very little left. Almost every front cover is a model celebrated for her external beauty, rather than her skills or talents. When was the last time Vogue featured nuclear scientist or entrepreneur.

Prestigious cultural events - music, cinema - have become fashion circuses with hours spent admiring or critiquing red carpet dresses than the artistic achievement. And not let's not forget the hours during fashion week spent watching undernourished models walk up and down a catwalk as human coathangers.

Harsh perhaps, but would a Syrian refugee or an Ethiopian villager really admire our progressive values?

Even the way we talk to each other is fundamentally sexist - little girls ‎are 'cute' and 'pretty' yet boys are funny and smart. When we compliment other women it's usually because they've lost weight or their haircut has changed. Even the way public figures refer to women is shamefully chauvinistic.

‎Yet when we speak out against all of this we are lambasted and trolled. Our main form of communication has set women back because behind the safe confines of a screen people turn many into cavemen that tweet obscenities.

A year or so ago the Beach Body Perfect campaign elicited much upset and criticism - huge posters telling us we had to look like a sex symbol if we want to go to the beach.

Those that spoke out were labelled femininazis or worse.

‎We have become so inured to this behaviour that we accept it, say nothing. When someone wolf whistles at us in the street we shut up or bat our eyelids - often too afraid of the backlash.

It can't be right. It isn't fair. And it's no way equal.

So this Women's Day, look around you and be conscious of your 'liberty', just for one day. Are you being treated fairly? Are you treating yourself well?

And if your life isn't balanced then do something. Report an injustice at work, speak to your partner if they aren't appropriate, stand up to someone being offensive.

We have fought for so much and won - the right to have an abortion, to earn maternity pay, ‎to marry someone from the same sex. We gave up our lives to have the vote.

What are we fighting for today?

HuffPost UK is running a month-long project in March called All Women Everywhere, providing a platform to reflect the diverse mix of female experience and voices in Britain today

Through blogs, features and video, we'll be exploring the issues facing women specific to their age, ethnicity, social status, sexuality and gender identity. If you'd like to blog on our platform around these topics, email ukblogteam@huffingtonpost.com