International Women's Day on March 8 was a time to celebrate women's economic, political and social achievements. The intent of the first celebration in 1909 was to appreciate women's maternal love and virtuous behaviour.
In contemporary society the social position of women has improved a lot and the relationship between men and women is much more equal. Women in Hong Kong now enjoy high levels of education and can earn considerable salaries. However, women are still treated as second-class citizens in some countries. They must obey the wishes of their fathers, brothers and husbands, even if they are unreasonable or unjustifiable.
People should continue to fight for the legal rights and social welfare for women in impoverished countries around the world.
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Pat. In developed places like Hong Kong, many people take women's equality for granted. In our city, women are given the same protection as men, are free to do the same jobs as men, and expect the same salaries and the same respect from their colleagues.
But in many parts of the world, women are not given equal treatment. They are not allowed to go to school, as they are considered unworthy of education. They are expected to obey their husbands, put up with appalling treatment from men and are treated as children-creating machines. Many can't even consider the possibility of an independent life or earning their own money to spend as they choose.
And yet, without women, the world would be an impossible place. While two parents are needed to create a child, it is the woman who gives birth. We all have a role to play. Men and women need equal rights all over the world if we want a peaceful existence. So speak out against abuse of women's rights and stand up for equality. Why not start by thanking the women in your life for everything they do?