By Ari Murphy
International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated annually on March 8th, is a day to honor and uplift the accomplishments of women around the world and raise awareness for issues facing women today.
This year, the campaign theme for IWD is #ChooseToChallenge. In order to create change, we must challenge personal biases and structural inequality. We must call out those biases and inequalities when we see them in ourselves and in our communities.
One community that consistently faces stereotypes, violence and discrimination at a higher rate than the general population is the transgender community. Transgender individuals are those who do not identify with the gender they were assigned by society at birth.
Within the trans community, transgender women - specifically transgender women of color - face the highest rates of violence and discrimination. Between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020, 53 identified trans individuals were killed in acts of anti-transgender violence in the United States alone, most of whom were transgender women of color (PFLAG).
And yet, transgender women are still fighting for access to necessary resources provided to women in situations such as domestic violence, sex work, and housing instability. Trans women are women and are part of a, particularly vulnerable community. We must fight for the active inclusion of trans women in women’s spaces and access to resources designed for women in need of assistance. Trans women are dying to be heard.
This International Women’s Day, I #ChooseToChallenge and remind us that this day is for all women, not just cisgender women.