Today (8 March) is International Women’s Day (IWD), and this year the theme is #EachForEqual, highlighting the individual actions we can all take to affect big change.
As individuals, we can all take steps to challenge perceptions, shift biases, and lift up other women, to celebrate their achievements and pave the way for gender equality across the world.
There are various issues that affect women more-so than men: from equal pay and sexual harassment, to forced marriage and domestic abuse, it can often feel like the world is stacked against us as women.
IWD aims to draw attention to the issues that affect women and raise awareness, to encourage more people to get involved in campaigns for change.
- Up to 500 million women and girls around the world are living in period poverty, meaning they don’t have basic access to sanitary products, or can’t afford them.
- An estimated 28.9 per cent of women aged 16-59 have experienced domestic abuse, but as it’s a crime that’s underreported, this figure could be higher.
- Women of almost all ethnicities experience a pay gap with white British men in the UK, however it is wider for some: almost 15 per cent for white women, and 19.6 per cent for black African women.
- Disabled women are 25.9 percentage points less likely to be in employment that non-disabled women, and 34.5 percentage points less than non-disabled men.
- Every year, 12 million girls (one in five) are married before the age of 18. This means that over 650 million women alive today were married as children: the majority against their will, and usually to a man considerably older than them.
- One in 10 women in Scotland has experienced rape, and one in five has had someone try to make them have sex against their will.
The statistics sound bleak, but thanks to the tireless work of charities, activists and everyday actions, we step closer to true gender equality every day.
If you want to get involved with International Women’s Day, there are plenty of things you can do. Firstly, have open conversations wherever you can about the issues affecting women – not just you – around the world. Help others understand the experiences that women are enduring and try to change their perspective about why change is needed.
If you can, it’s worth donating money to charities and organisations working for gender equality. Whether you want to support women living in period poverty, LGBTQ+ women, refugees and immigrant women, disabled women, female-run businesses, women escaping an abusive relationship, or the numerous other causes, there are plenty of organisations you can donate your time and money to.
This enables you to not only learn more about women’s issues, but also help women who aren’t as fortunate.
View this post on Instagram
♥️We’re starting #InternationalWomensDay early because well, why not? Over the next few days we'll be sharing Mamas journeys because we understand being a parent is something to celebrate. Here's to ALL mamas; mamas-to-be, step-mamas, adopted mamas, single mamas, working mamas, stay at home mamas, married mamas, every Mama (and female) out there; you're a m a z i n g. Never (ever!) underestimate the power of a Mama. Say hello to our first #MamaAndPapaPower feature; our gorgeous Mama and Parent Approved Panellist @the_thirtysomethinggirl Keep reading to feel inspired… "I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t worry about my body image. When I was young, I spent most of my time in a dance studio, then later, on to a professional dance college, which did nothing for my self-esteem. In my early adult years, I was constantly trying to look like the images around me and feeling like I couldn’t measure up. It’s no wonder that I had never felt truly comfortable in my own skin. So, when I got pregnant, the thought of what would happen to my body absolutely terrified me. How big would I get? Would I pile on the pounds? But the strangest thing happened, I blossomed, never once felt ‘big’ and was totally engrossed in becoming a mother. After a 2-day labour and emergency c-section, my body was a bit of a wreck. But it had given me the most amazing thing, my little Posey. How could I be mad at it? How could I hate it the way I had always before? So, I have learnt a new solution to deal with my body image. Acceptance. I accept that my body has been through a massive transition. I accept that my body doesn’t look like it once did. I accept that I have a scar and C-section pouch. I accept my body. But most of all, I accept me. My body is AMAZING. Our bodies are AMAZING. Women are beyond AMAZING. I promise you Posey, I will always lift you up, help you to love yourself and remind you every day what us girls are made of." Hashtag #MamaAndPapaPower and tag @mamasandpapas in your content to join the movement. Tell your story or even just tag a female who inspires you. #MamasSupportingMamas #MamaAndPapaPower #InternationalWomensDay
IWD is a celebration of women and the diversity of our achievements. However, it’s also an urgent reminder of the women around the world who are facing discrimination, abuse and don’t have freedom of choice. This IWD, how will you make a difference?