5 Reasons to Celebrate Being a Woman

A simple question has prompted a surprising debate: What is a woman?

Throughout much of human history, the term “woman” has been defined not in terms of herself but rather in relation to man. Women have been considered property, treated with consideration varying from that given to an ox to that of a treasured grand piano.

In the past, most women were expected to stay at home and raise children, while men went out into the world to work and provide for the family. But today, women are increasingly outnumbering men in college, in graduate school, and even in professional jobs. In fact, some countries are now led by women.

But despite the many advances women have made, it’s not always easy being a woman. The expectations of society, societal stereotypes, monthly menstrual highlights, and hormonal mood swings can make being female challenging to say the least. But there are plenty of reasons to celebrate being a woman:

1. Women have a double X chromosome, which gives them extra genetic material—a backup if you will—that compensates (at least partially) for bad mutations. Men, on the other hand, have one X chromosome and a Y chromosome, leaving them without any kind of backup if a bad mutation appears.

2. Women are more likely to fight for equal rights and be leaders in their communities, workplaces, and societies.

Studies show that when women are involved in decision-making, the policies they design and apply have a positive impact on people’s lives. This is particularly true for women’s health and economic security. For example, one study found that poverty rates drop by an average of 14 percentage points when women are involved in a country’s government.

3. Women have more power than ever before to change the world for the better.

Women’s leadership is critical to solving many of the world’s most pressing problems, including poverty, hunger, child mortality, and climate change. Women are able to bring unique perspectives to these issues because of their experience, knowledge, and relationships with the people who matter most. In addition, women’s leadership is backed by evidence: research shows that when women are involved in government and public decision-making, they promote legislation that benefits both women and their families.