Wednesday, 8th March 2023, is International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated since 1911 to highlight women’s achievements and call for gender equality. IWD aims to help us all imagine a gender-equal world, free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination and instead is diverse, equitable and inclusive.
The theme is #EmbraceEquity
International Women’s Day is a global celebration that acknowledges the contributions of women to society. It is also a day that provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress made towards gender equality and the work that still needs to be done. This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity, which encourages individuals and organisations to challenge gender bias and inequality in all aspects of life.
Defining Equity and Equality
Equality means treating everyone the same by giving them the same resources and opportunities. On the other hand, equity means recognising that different people have different needs and circumstances and providing them with the resources and opportunities they need to achieve an equal outcome.
Understanding the difference between equity and equality is essential because treating everyone the same only sometimes results in fairness. For example, if someone with a physical disability is given the same resources and opportunities as someone without a disability, they may still not have an equal chance to succeed. By acknowledging and valuing equity, we can ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential, regardless of circumstances.
Raising Awareness of Issues
International Women’s Day aims to raise awareness of the issues women face in society and promote gender equality. This means challenging gender stereotypes, addressing the gender pay gap, and fighting against discrimination and harassment in the workplace. It empowers women to be leaders, take control of their lives, and pursue their dreams.
How to Support International Women’s Day
So, what can individuals and businesses do to support International Women’s Day? There are many things that we can do to make a difference. Here are a few ideas:
Challenge gender bias and stereotypes: We all have a role in challenging gender bias and stereotypes. We can do this by speaking out when we hear sexist comments or behaviours and actively seeking diverse perspectives and voices.
Support women in leadership: We can support women in leadership by mentoring them, advocating for them, and providing them opportunities to grow and develop their skills.
Close the gender pay gap: We can work to close the gender pay gap by advocating for equal pay for equal work and by implementing policies and practices that promote pay equity.
Address workplace harassment and discrimination: We can create a safe and inclusive workplace by addressing harassment and discrimination and by implementing policies and practices that promote respect and inclusion for all employees.
Donate to organisations that support women: We can support organisations working to empower and support women, such as Free@Last, the local charity we support, through selling purple ribbons in reception. Free@Last provides opportunities, mentoring and support to children, young adults and families. You can find out more about who they help.
In conclusion, International Women’s Day is a powerful reminder that gender equality is not just a women’s issue but a human one. Whether you purchase a purple ribbon or take action in some other way, I encourage you to get involved in International Women’s Day and the #EmbraceEquity theme. By working together, we can create a world that is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination and that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.