Since starting A Bloody Good Cause, I always take an extra dollop of relish in anything relating to women’s rights and gender equality. March 8th marks a very exciting day in the feminist calendar: International Women’s Day (“IWD”).
The first IWD event apparently took place as early as 1909, with its roots in socialism. These events continued throughout the women’s Suffrage movement and all across the world, but was eventually recognised by the UN in 1977. Since 1996, the UN have given IWD particular themes, such as:
- Women and Human Rights
- Women and HIV/AIDS
- Empower Rural Women
- Investing in Women & Girls
The theme for this year is Pledge for Parity. The UN website states that,”The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.”
The idea of glacial progress is one that I have been thinking a lot about lately. I recently attended a talk called ‘Women in Technology’ where EMEA Facebook’s Vice President Nicola Mendelsohn gave an incredible and inspiring speech about remaining optimistic in her view that gender equality would one day happen.
Nicola pointed out that she was born in 1971, just one year after the Equal Pay Act received Royal Assent. This moment was supposed to mark an incredible milestone for all of the women that had spent years campaigning for equal pay. However, as you may remember from my last post we are still quite a way off from achieving this aim.
Someone recently told me that I should have the wisdom to accept the things I cannot change. While those may be words to live by for some, like Nicola Mendelsohn I too am an optimist, and I believe (like many others) that if you continue to fight for change, one day you will achieve it. It may be glacial but it is happening all the same and even if I do not live to benefit from the difference, the women of the future will. That’s good enough for me.
All in all, I think that just one day for coming together and discussing gender equality is not enough and I will be extending the festivities for as long as possible. I am attending the Women of the World Festival (11th-13th March) and plan on vlogging the entire weekend, so stay tuned for more on that on our YouTube channel!
If you would like to find out more about the events taking place in your local area, you can find some ideas here.
Will you be doing anything to celebrate IWD?
Thanks for reading,