Today is International Women’s Day. No doubt you will have seen lots about this all over social media already. What’s interesting is how long International Women’s Day (IWD) has been around for. My first real encounter with it was in 2011, when I was asked to create an event. Prior to that I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d been vaguely familiar with it at best. IWD was first observed in the United States all the way back in 1909. The day was designated in honour of a strike against garment workers’ conditions the previous year. The following year it was established as an international event.
So for over a century, people around the globe have been working to draw attention to and build support for women’s rights. And an awful lot has changed in that time, with the women’s suffrage movement, voting rights, ability to hold public office and much more.
The current date of 8th March was ratified by the United Nations in 1975, and the theme of this year’s IWD campaign is #BalanceforBetter.
How does an everyday person #BalanceforBetter to support this year’s IWD? You don’t have to march, rally, or protest, although there are no doubt many around the world who will be. You don’t have to lobby politicians. You don’t have to spend any money or sign any petitions. And importantly, you don’t have to be a woman. It can be as simple as deciding to have the right mindset, as suggested in the IWD website:
- Maintain a gender parity mindset
- Challenge stereotypes and bias
- Forge positive visibility of women
- Influence others’ beliefs / actions
- Celebrate women’s achievements
I hope you’ll all join me in the above, not just today, but from now on. I wish you all a happy International Women’s Day!