By Kevin Ruddy and Greg Kennedy
Being a woman in today’s ‘’modern world’’ is not always respectful nor easy-going. Many women are still marginalised, degraded, and objectified by their peers in many countries. However, one day each year gives all women the chance to celebrate their successes to the mainstream.
International Women’s Day – celebrated annually on March 8 is a day that empowers women, while commemorating their social, political, and economic achievements. The event’s main message is to promote gender equality and support for idolised representation, and this was shown in the city of Copenhagen on Tuesday evening as a massive turnout of both men and women gathered together in full support of the women’s march.
One of those people involved in the woman’s march was Danish-American student Maddie Fortson. Maddie (21) plays in a mixed-gender independent band and performed as the opening act for the event. ‘’Well, I usually play base, funnily enough, this is just a random group of individuals who decided to play for this event, we don’t normally play together so getting the opportunity to take part in an event like this is special to me and the other guys.’’
The whole concept of International Women’s Day is to give all females, any race, religion, or sexuality a voice, and for many, the mere notion of gaining some respect is enough for them, and to be happy with themselves in a world still predominately dominated by their male counterparts, but men can help in the battle for equality if they really want too. ”I think its great when men show up to things like this, the guys in the band really understand how much this means to the women here today and also you guys for showing an interest in getting the message across, it’s pretty cool and I can respect it massively”.
Explaining further, Maddie expressed how its the little touches to these sort of events that really speak to her. ”Marches like this, you know it means a lot of things for not only me but for everyone here wanting to combat the issues associated with being a woman, today means empowerment and it means fighting for change us women want to happen, so everyone can be equal and have rights.”
When asked about the day to day challenges of the average Danish woman in 2022, Maddie scoffed at the real-life notion that women are stigmatised based on their gender. ”Looking into a lot of articles lately, I noticed that women are supposed to be a certain way for guys to like them, what is idealised about women, social media and more importantly, body types.”
Technically speaking, the city of Copenhagen and Denmark as a country is one of the safest and gender equality friendly in not just Europe but the world.
In a research study done in 2020 by EIGE (European Institute for Gender Equality), Denmark amazingly ranked 2nd in the EU on the Gender Equality Index with a score of 77.4 out of 100 points, with only Sweden being better off.
The key highlights of the study saw drastic improvements in women’s decision-making, educational standards and politics. With a surge of women on company boards rising from 17% in 2010 to 33% in 2020. Impressively, the share of women members in the Danish parliament has improved since 2010, with a steep rise of 2% in that time frame, bolstering up to a record high of 40%.
According to Maddie, women in Denmark grew up in a certain way of doing things, but as years have gone by, the culture has well and truly had a culture shock of its own. ”I think what it means for women in this specific country and culture is just doing what you feel like doing, trying to go against any stereotypes and wanting to be different is so important.”
(NOTE: This story was written for all women who have a strong connection with women’s rights and gender equality in Denmark and across the globe)
Name: Maddie Fortson