- 08 Mar 2018
Why we need it and how to celebrate it!
Today’s the day we remind ourselves to celebrate women’s achievements around the world while driving forward on a plight for gender equality. Every year on the 8 March, we commemorate the movement for women’s rights.
What is International Women’s Day (IWD)?
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, cultural and political achievements of women while also calling for action to accelerate worldwide gender equality. Kicking off in the early 1900s during a time of great political unrest for women, the movement continues to grow in a free-form motion, encompassing no one government, charity or institution. Instead, IWD includes many organisations and individuals who declare their support for the cause, creating a rich network that’s looking to empower men and women to bring about change.
Do we still need IWD in 2018?
The last 100 years has seen successful changes in the attitude towards women’s equality, and with more female role models than ever before, and far-reaching platforms for women to be heard, surely we’re close to reaching gender parity?
Sadly, not quite. Overall, women still earn less, fill fewer parliamentary seats (globally), are underrepresented at the leadership levels, and in many countries, women disproportionally suffer poverty, poor education and have limited access to healthcare.
The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap report predicts it is likely we won’t close the gender gap for another 200 years, highlighting the importance of IWD and the need to continue to drive the movement for faster change for all women.
Harnessing the popularity of viral movements such as #MeToo and #Timesup, this year’s IWD campaign theme is #PressforProgress, encouraging everyone to join together and push for gender equality, a better global economy and fairer societies everywhere.
How to help close the gap?
Putting more women in leadership positions is thought to be extremely important for helping push the change. Data shows that when women are participating in leadership roles, more women are hired right across the board at all levels. Thus, more women are required at the most senior levels of leadership, to see the gap in economic opportunity close more quickly.
So how can we get involved in IWD 2018?
1. Visit the IWD website and click the ‘Press For Progress’ button.
2. Support the women you know, friends, mothers, sisters and co-workers. Let your own actions lead the way.
3. Continue conversations and pledge your support by calling out gender bias.
4. Share content (blogs, articles and social posts) to spread the message of IWD.
5. Join or create your own event. You can search events in your local area from the IWD website.
6. Attend women’s networking events. Throughout the year women put themselves out there to empower others – choose to support and attend these networking events.
7. Donate to local women’s charities to help empower the most vulnerable.
8. Read books written by inspiring women, talk about them, and recommend them.
9. Make every day international women’s day and help close the gap faster.