Let’s face it—women are a force to be reckoned with. Not only do they give birth, raise little humans, and build families, but they also lead countries, run successful careers and display superwoman powers each and every day. If that weren’t enough, women have also had to overcome serious social setbacks and injustices, fighting for women’s rights for what seems like an eternity, and they continue to do so showing strength, determination and grace along the way.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias which is all about calling out gender inequality, stereotypes and bias. It’s taking action to create a world that’s inclusive, diverse and where women’s differences are not only celebrated but valued.
In this blog, we’re going to share the history of International Women’s Day, plus provide some practical tips on how you can start making a positive difference within your community today!
Although the first official celebration of International Women’s Day was in 1975, it was first recognised in the early 1900s in Copenhagen, Germany. It was proposed that every country should celebrate women on the same day, and it should be a day where women can fight for their demands!
You would think that after decades of advocating for women’s rights and equality, the world would have caught up by now—that there would’ve been many women leading countries across the globe, women would be getting paid the same as men and women could walk home without the fear of assault or concern for their lives. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and although society has seen great change and growth, women are still fighting for equality in many ways all over the world. It’s a battle that hasn’t been won yet, and one at Velo that we will continue to fight for collectively.
WHY CELEBRATING IWD IS STILL NEEDED TODAY
Whilst there has been a lot of progress and improvements over the years when it comes to women’s rights and equality, there’s still a way to go before society and the world embraces women the way they deserve.
- Coronavirus has had an impact on women significantly with there being an increase in domestic violence being experienced at home, whether it be physical, verbal or just the denial of basic resources being reported amongst women.
Many women in Afghanistan had their lives changed with the Taliban’s reappearance, with girls banned from receiving education and many women told not to come back to work.
During this time, however, we have seen many positive changes including:-
- Kamala Harris became the first female, first black and first Asian-American Vice President of the United States in 2021, along with Samia Suluhu Hassan who became the first female president in Tanzania.
- Sudan criminalised female genital mutilation.
- NZ approved paid bereavement leave for couples who experience a miscarriage or childbirth
- This year, Colombia decriminalised abortions within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.
- And who can forget the #MeToo movement, which has become a global conversation since 2017 and has encouraged many women to step forward and speak out against harassment and sexual assault.
As you can see there’s still a lot of work to be done and speaking up for women everywhere remains so important today.
* If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, click here for support.
HOW YOU CAN HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE
So, how can you celebrate International Women’s Day this year and help #BreakTheBias?
- It all starts with our own thoughts and actions, and opening up the discussion on the importance of this to women worldwide.
- It’s creating change at home, in the workplace and within our communities, so women feel heard, valued, protected and empowered.
- Get your women tribe together and host a get-together, raising money for a women’s rights charity or organisation fighting for gender equality.
- Sign up to partake in a conference or rally.
Simply start the conversation in your workplace, chatting to your colleagues and coming up with ideas and ways to get involved and make positive change.
The International Women’s Day website has a whole page dedicated to events that are held globally, with many of them held online which means that you can participate, connect with others and be a part of positive change no matter where you are in the world! Check it out here.
“What's the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not". – Rupi Kaur.
Happy International Women’s Day!