International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Of course, this shouldn’t just be one day, this should be all year long, but as you will see below, we have quite a lot of work to do!
This year’s campaign theme is “Better the Balance, Better the World” #BalanceforBetter is focused on a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
IWD state it so well “Gender balance is not just a women’s issue, everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere. From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence.”
A big portion of the work I do is with women and I love it. The gender gap that many women experience in their working and everyday life makes things more difficult than they should be. While we have made some improvements in this, it’s not enough and it makes me mad when I look at the figures below. This image depicts just some of the statistics in relation to gender equality in Australia;
As you can see from the above there is still a long way to go in closing the gender gap and achieving #BalanceforBetter. This year International Women’s Day, organisers are calling for people to join them in promoting awareness and declaring their commitment to gender parity, so here is my commitment at a local level;
I will help forge a more gender balanced world
Michelle Obama said it best when she said “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens”. Really, I have nothing else to add, except that my work means that I get to work with females across the country who can have a greater impact on the gender balance and I will do what I can to support these women.
I will maintain a gender parity mindset
This to me, is about education, and communicating and conversing with those around us to keep the topic front of mind, which ultimately means so many different things. This article by the Huffington Post is an interesting one to have a read of, and even though it was written a few years ago, it puts into question the “goal” of gender parity.
I will challenge stereotypes and bias
For me this one is about making sure my daughters know that there is no such thing as girls things versus boys things. This has become particularly apparent now that my youngest has started primary school, there is lots of talk in the school grounds amongst kids about “that’s a boys toy” or “girls do that” I want to ensure that my children grow up believing in themselves and not being confined by gender stereotypes and bias.
I will forge positive visibility of women
Many women feel that the work they do should speak for itself and whilst this is a nice notion, it’s just not realistic. So I will make sure I work with women to help them and their work become more visible, in a way that works for them.
I will influence the beliefs and actions of others
I will not stay silent on the important issues, I will do what I can to challenge those around me to think differently about their view of the world and I will challenge the status quo to influence others.
I will celebrate Womens Achievements
Celebrating women’s achievements is by far my favourite part of my job. As long as I am given the opportunity to continue to work with amazing women, I will continue to celebrate all of their achievements and get everyone else to celebrate along with me!
International Women’s Day is so important in highlighting the need for building a better gender balance in our world. The discussions around #BalanceforBetter should not stop on International Women’s Day, but continue all year round.
My Thriving Women’s Program grew from my passion of working with women and the power that women can have when they are connected with like-minded people. Thriving Women Perth has just launched and we are now taking registrations for the 2019 intake. Learn more about this program here.
If you would like more information on IWD 2019 check out the official website; International Womens Day 2019