International women's day. An important day globally that celebrates the achievements of women in various fields. It should be a reminder of the work still needed for gender equality and the importance of it.

According to its official website, it dates back to the early 1900s. Beginning in 1908 when an estimated 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding change in their rights. It started officially in the USA in 1909 and continued to spread to more and more countries until it was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975.

This year the day was March 8th and it saw an amazing amount of support on social media with the campaign theme hashtag for 2021 ‘Choose to Challenge’ being used on a total of 466,365 posts. It was followed by Mother’s day on the 14th of March, but in between these two celebrations, London saw a great tragedy. The death of Sarah Everard.

It was said that she originally went missing on the 3rd of March which was followed by messages about her disappearance being shown at train stations locally along with pictures of her etc. The nation was in uproar after the announcement of her death and the arrest of a police officer in relations to it. The response of social media was triumphant, with women speaking out about issues relating to sexual harassment. One statistic became hugely well known. 97%. An approximate 97% of women are reported to have experienced some kind of sexual harassment in their lifetime.

My question is what kind of an impact this had on the teenage girls of London. I created a survey for my classmates with various questions about their safety. When asked whether they ‘feel safe walking in the dark’ 97% of the people who answered said they did not. When asked whether they have ‘ever taken a longer or different route to be safer’ 85% of people said yes, I asked these teenage girls whether they had ‘ever experienced any form of sexual harassment 20 of the 29 who answered said yes. Finally, I asked how they felt about Sarah Everard's death, one person said "She was doing all the right things and was still taken. That kind of proves as women we can never be safe. It could have been any one of us. Any one of us." – Nicole Mazza.

These results are absolutely horrifying, they highlight a big issue in our society. Not only are these things happening to women and young girls, but we are being blamed for it. There is still a hard fight to be fought, a long way to go and a lot of people to educate before we can say we have done enough. Just one day a year is not enough. How many more lives will it take for this to be recognised?