Happy International Women’s Day! I’m sure you’ll have noticed, this special date has gained MUCH more notoriety in the last few years, and deservedly so. The seeds of this important day were sown over 100 years ago, when 15,000 women marched through New York demanding better pay, shorter working hours, and the right to vote. The idea to make it international was suggested by a woman named Clara Zetkin in 1910, at a conference for working women in Copenhagen; 100 women from 17 countries unanimously agreed, and the rest is history.
International Women’s Day is a cause to celebrate the progress of women socially, politically and economically. This year’s theme is #PressForProgress; a call to action to promote gender equality, encouraging people to reach out to their friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and communities, to think and act more inclusively.
In its simplest iteration, gender equality = feminism; the ‘other’ F-word that so many people, female and male, are scared to use. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to our children, to create a world that’s more equal. A duty to give rise to leaders, businesses and influencers who are more representative of all of us. In 2018, with the world seemingly at war with itself, with more death and destruction every day, I can’t help but feel like things would be different if there were more female leaders – everywhere.
I truly believe that equality starts at home. It begins with us teaching our children that their gender doesn’t mean they should be treated differently; that they don’t need to adhere to certain roles or perform predetermined job roles because they’re male or female. It starts with having open and honest conversations with our family and friends about movements like #metoo and #TimesUp, and voicing our opinions. It begins when we stop being wallflowers, and we call out injustice and discrimination, through taking part in petitions and micro-revolutions online, to protests that sweep the city streets.
Happy #IWD2018 to all of you incredible women, and supportive men out there. Here’s to strong women; may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them