On International Women’s Day - 8th March -we must pause to appreciate the strides women have made world over while continuing to demand positive change, equality, and fundamental freedoms.
In previous years many of us celebrated Women’s Day by attending Women’s Marches: we walked proudly through our cities holding hands with women from all walks of life, reclaiming public space, and demanding a change in the status quo. 2021 will be a little different, but there are a number of ways in which you can celebrate the women around you while abiding by Covid-19 SOPs.
This year the theme for IWD2021 is #ChooseToChallenge. This theme emphasizes the importance of challenging barriers that hinder gender equality: such as patriarchal mindsets, stereotypes, workplace culture, sexism, gender norms, and a universal lack of access to healthcare and education. Just by posting a picture on your favourite social media platform with your hand raised up, along with the caption #ChooseToChallenge you are showing your support for gender equality.
Change starts at home, so this Women’s Day take it upon yourself to initiate conversations around inequalities that women face in your community, and include people of all gender and sexual identities in the conversations you start. Encourage those in positions of authority at your workplace to reexamine policies that affect women. Ask questions like “do we have an effective sexual harassment reporting mechanism in place?”, “Are we doing enough to promote female leadership?”, and “do women feel safe and comfortable at this office?”
This Women’s Day make a vow to more actively support women in all spheres: from hyping your girlfriends up on social media to promoting female-run businesses. Another great way to show your commitment to combatting inequality is by making a donation to NGOs and charities that work to assist women. A simple way to participate in IWD2021 is by pausing to listen to the stories of women around you, you can do this by attending online women’s day seminars, discussions, and events.
While we cannot march this year, we can still continue to make bold and meaningful strides for powerful women all over the globe.