International Women’s Day 2018 theme is #PressforProgress
International Women’s Day, observed annually on March 8, is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day is also a call to action through events large and small focusing on equality. It aims to support the gains women have made while noting how much farther women have to go.
A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Figures show that globally, women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men. In 2017, women’s rights dominated the news, with a global reckoning on sexual misconduct rippling through industries.
On IWD, women across the world come together to force the world to recognize these inequalities – while also celebrating the achievements of women who have overcome these barriers.
The first women’s day was observed in February 1909 when 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York demanding improved pay, shorter hours and voting rights. Women can vote, yet many across the world are still struggling for basic things, like safety, health care, and human rights.
Chinese revolution leader Mao Zedong once said, “Women hold up half the sky.” This quote is a good reminder that half of the entire human population is female in a world seemingly dominated by men.
Celebrating International Women Day’s is in my opinion no longer only about gender equality and inclusion. It is also a celebration of the achievements of all the amazing women worldwide; some are successful in business, others successful in life. These success stories have their roots in supportive families, husbands, friends, mentors and colleagues. These capable women are in their positions of leadership and power because they are ‘capable’ and have worked hard and long to get there based on merit and contribution.
Women straddle two worlds if they want to have it all – be primary caregivers at home as well as professionals. They do all the housework, look after children and also work to break the glass ceiling. It is tough and unreasonable, but this is the step to changing the world order. Bridging the old and new till we step completely into a whole new world of true gender equality.
Together we have the power to make a positive difference to the world around us. Initiate and empower change where needed most and that is in how women are treated and respected in all of society. It’s time to encourage and challenge women to take center stage and claim their role in building a better nation and a better world.
So, what else can you do? As women be kind, be generous, be supportive and celebrate the people in your lives that have empowered and supported you. Go out of your way to find women that are achieving in all walks of life and share their story. Be strong, Speak up and demand respect, and support the rights of women who may not be so lucky.
Our aim is a world where empowered women hold up their share of the sky.