A few hours ago, I carried out a poll on my Instagram, asking a simple question, ‘Do you think IWD is important’… The feedback I got was sort of wanting, because I realized that as much as most people gave a resounding ‘definitely’, very few people actually know what the day is about.
Let me start by clarifying that IWD isn’t another day, for just buying gifts, and celebrating womanhood. It’s way more than that. Its root can be traced to 1908, when 15000 women marched through New York demanding for better working conditions. In the following year, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States, giving birth to what we have now. However it was not until 1914 that March 8th became the official day for celebrating IWD, and in 1975, after it was recognized by the UN, the celebration began having an annual theme.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
International Women’s Day is a day in which women are recognized for their achievements, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, cultural, economic or political backgrounds.
It is also celebrated with the aim of achieving full gender equality for women around the world, advocating for social change, women’s education, health, addressing women’s issues in democracy, differences in pay, domestic violence, sexual assault, and all other forms of injustices done to/against women.
WOMEN ONLY CONFERENCES, TALKS, RALLIES AND MEETINGS?
IWD is celebrated through talks, rallies, conferences, breakfasts, dinners and other forums, where women get to share their thoughts on means to effect change and bring equality.
Now, I personally have a problem with these ‘women exclusive’ meetings. I support what they try to achieve, my issue is.. how will effective change be made possible if men are not part of these kind of forums? In my opinion (feel free to differ with me in the comments), the fight for equality should not be a women’s only affair, because this is not a women’s only world. We live with men, go to school with men, work with men, and sometimes men are the cause of some of the injustices that women go through today, such as sexual assault.
Kudos to the conferences (some that I’ve attended myself), where men are not just observers in the sidelines, but put at the core in discussing these issues, and finding proper lasting solutions. Just as Joan Thatiah stated in her book I’m too pretty to be broke and other lies you tell yourself, “To address inequality you must learn how the other half lives”. Inclusion is the only way to achieve lasting change.
PRESS FOR PROGRESS.
PRESS (verb) : apply pressure to (something) to flatten, shape, or smooth it, typically by ironing.
This year’s theme for IWD is #PressforProgress. Basically, we are acknowledging that yes, we are heading in the right direction, but more still needs to be done.
With movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp being started, we are clearly on the right route, and the theme is meant to inspire people not to be silent until there is lasting change and until these issues are ironed out.
GENDER EQUALITY AND GENDER EQUITY.
Equality and equity are two of the most confusing words. I would know. I was once a law student. lol. The easiest way to explain it is through this photo, which I’m sure you’ve probably seen before.
Simply put, equality is treating everyone the same while equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful.
Gender equality is equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender. It does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female.
Gender equity means fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs. This treatment could be equal or different but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities.
Gender equality is the goal, while gender equity helps in achieving the goal. Equality can not be achieved until everyone starts at the same place, and maybe that’s why this fight has always been there and will probably be there for several more years. Considering the selfish nature of human beings, and the differences between men and women in terms of needs, preferences, interests and even biological differences, I am honestly a bit skeptical about how ‘full’ equality can be achieved.
What do you think? Is it possible?
Is there International Men’s Day?
What do you think about IWD? Please, share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Also if you have questions, I’ll be doing a Q&A soon, so DM me your questions.
Thank you for reading. Till next time.
Remember to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. xx
Glow and Grow. xx
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