International Women’s Day 2017: Be Bold for Change
The New Normal Magazine celebrates International Women’s Day 2017 and explores the history behind this event
It is International Women’s Day (IWD) and there is rarely a better time to celebrate women and take stock of the progress that has been made in the ongoing fight for gender equality.
Throughout history, women have battled against discrimination and have even died for the right to vote. IWD presents an opportunity for people across the globe to tip their proverbial hat to women and all that has been achieved in terms of gender parity progress, both politically and socially.
What is International Women’s Day?
Its history can be traced back to 1911, when suffragette leader and activist Emmeline Pankhust along with her comrades, the first officially named International Women’s Day event which is now recognised annually on the 8th of March. IWD is celebrated by: governments; charities and women’s organisations, with a range of art performances; presentations; celebrations and marches around the world.
What’s this year’s theme?
This year the theme for IWD is #BeBoldForChange – to encourage people to take revolutionary action in striving for gender equality. Given the context of the current political climate, according to the IWD organisers, there has never been a more pressing time to take; “ground-breaking action that truly drives the greatest change for women. Each one of us – with women, men and non-binary people joining forces – can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over.”
How is the IWD still relevant?
106 years on from the inaugural IWD, the gender pay gap still persists and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Evidence also shows that globally, women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men. IWD presents an opportunity to thrust these issues under the spotlight and make strides for gender parity.
Is there an International Men’s Day?
International Men’s Day is celebrated globally on Sunday 19 November. The objectives of International Men’s Day include a focus on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them.
The objective in 2016 was Stop Male Suicide. In every country – except China where it is approximately equal – the suicide rate is worse for men than it is for women. This, averaged out on a country-by-country basis, meaning that the rate of suicide for men is up to three times that of women. In Russia six men commit suicide for every one women.
How is The New Normal Magazine celebrating IWD?
We have a week of themed news, features, and multimedia to showcase female achievements and inspire women. We also hit the streets of Glasgow to find out what people think of women’s role in society and the relevance of IWD. Here’s what they had to say.
This video footage was filmed by: Jenny Tsilivakou, edited by: Amanda Park & Jenny Tsilivakou
So where are we now?
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, the world will not eliminate the gender gap until 2095. Saadia Zahidi, head of the Gender Parity Programme at the World Economic Forum, and lead author of the report, addressed, “much of the progress on gender equality over the last 10 years has come from more women entering politics and the workforce. There are now 26% more female parliamentarians and 50% more female ministers than nine years ago.”
Zahidi added, “these are far-reaching changes for economies and national cultures. However, it is clear that much work still remains to be done, and that the pace of change must in some areas be accelerated.”
With the ongoing fight for full gender quality continuing, IWD urges people across the globe to help forge a more inclusive and equal world.
For more information see www.internationalwomensday.com