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Swedish soccer team salutes women on jerseys

by Alyssa Daley-Executive Editor
Thu, Mar 9th 2017 12:00 pm
Photo taken from Wikipedia Commons
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This week I chose something positive to write about, which is proof that there are good people left in this world still doing amazing things. Sweden's professional women's soccer team in the Algarve Cup this week made the decision to replace each player's last name on their respective jerseys with an inspirational quote.

Each one is unique, just like each woman on the team is unique in how she carries herself on and off the field. According to CNN, the team hopes to encourage women around the world to focus on themselves and their own goals.

This was most likely planned for this week since Wednesday, March 8, is International Women's Day. This year there are strikes, marches and protests happening all over the world in honor of the fight for gender and racial equality. The "Day Without a Woman" is what March 8 has also been deemed by activists all around the world and the International Women's Strike, which according to Vox, is taking place in over 30 countries.

It's amazing that the entire women's soccer team got behind this initiative. Each player chose an empowering tweet written by well-known Swedish women, according to CNN. The reason why women have even more of a reason to stand up and demonstrate their feelings on gender equality this year is in part because of Donald Trump's election as president of the United States and the legislation he has either taken away or tried to put into action thus far that disregards women's rights.

Back when Trump was first elected and signed the executive order which reinstated a federal ban on funding for international non-governmental organizations that provide abortions, Sweden's deputy prime minister Isabella Lövin shared a picture of herself and her female colleagues as she signed into action a bill that now binds the Swedish government to net zero emissions by 2045, according to CNN. Not only is the Swedish sports world showing its progressive colors, but the Swedish government is literally referred to as a "feminist government."

According to government.se this means gender equality is a prominent factor in all decisions its government makes in Sweden. It's also the very first government to implement a gender equal perspective into its very core. It is possible for a country to care about an issue so much, that it affects more than just one sphere of its existence. Team captain Lotta Schelin chose the quote: "Never look down on someone unless it is to help her up," a quote by Swedish politician Gudrun Schyman.

"I think it is great that we can join forces with other strong women and that we together can show that everything is possible," Schelin said according to New York Magazine. "There is always a need to show young women that it is possible to succeed and that no one should feel limited in what they can achieve and particularly not because of their sex."

There is no such thing as having too many sources of inspiration, motivation or empowerment for the largest demographic in our nation: women. The U.S. population alone is comprised 51 percent of women and yet we do not have the ability to do what we want with our own bodies, earn equal to or more than a man based on our skills and experience or have the same chance as a man to be hired for a superior position within an organization.

We can ask ourselves why this is. Perhaps we do not have the right to do what we want with our bodies because men still feel as though they have a choice in the matter even though these are our bodies and not theirs. Perhaps we do not have the right to earn as much as a man because society still paints us as the weaker sex even though women have been the ones to gradually increase our representation within the government as more amazing women are voted into the Senate.

Women have also been leaders in social and cultural reform all across the world making it a better place for future generations of both men and women. Women have also continued to make our mark in domains only accepted men until recently

Women are a large portion of the world and it's amazing how far they have come. However, there remain many injustices in the world today and it's about time people began noticing them and doing something about it. So a huge "thank you" to Sweden's women's soccer team; it is proof we can all do something to further the change we want to see made in the world.



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