A day where we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, whilst also looking to the future as to how we can accelerate gender balance.
The campaign this year is #BalanceforBetter and the message is simple.
Better the balance. Better the world.
As a feminist this is a no-brainer. Actually, as a human being this is a no-brainer.
A more gender balanced world will only come about through collective action. We all, regardless of gender, have a shared responsibility to see this happen.
Women have come a long way in recent history, yet there is still more to be achieved. I’m not talking about ‘having it all’ either because I do not think that is feasible – something eventually has to give but that’s for another blog post! I’m talking about giving equal opportunities to everyone, regardless of gender and other differences that set us apart.
Women are being promoted to the boardrooms but there is still a very obvious glass ceiling to us. I am noticing a lot of women who have chosen to have a family are leaving their corporate jobs and thinking outside the box. They are meeting hurdles that they are finding take time and energy to overcome. It is easier to set up on our own, away from the patriarchal system that is still very prevalent in the corporate business world, to create something that we can control in terms of flexibility and our own destiny. I applaud anyone who does this successfully as I am trying to do.
Education is also key. I want both of my children to grow up in a world where their gender is not taken into account when they apply for a job. Cecily should have the same opportunities in life as Rufus if she chooses to have children. Rufus should have the same opportunity to take as much time off with his family as a woman would be entitled to and not be penalised for it – in wages or by societal ideals.
Flexible working now has a small voice and people are cottoning onto the fact that business hours do not mean 9 to 5, that a woman still has a brain and still has a desire to succeed and maintain ambition even though she has pushed a few sproglets out of her vagina.
It is not a day to alienate. Men are feminists too. My husband Kristian, is a feminist. He believes that women should have the same opportunities and exposure as men. If I’m honest, having a daughter cannot make him anything other than a feminist because surely he wants to see her have the same opportunities in life that will be afforded to our son?
Our role is to highlight the global disparity in empowerment for females and use our voices to ensure that females have access to the same rights as men.
I’m not talking about protesting or attending activist events. I’m talking about the little changes that we can make in everyday life. Whilst feminism has come so far in recent history, I still believe that it will take a while to get to the point where we can call the world equal in terms of gender.
That is why we need to ensure that the next generation – our children and grandchildren are educated in this regard. We need to communicate with them, listen to them and love them. Communication will be important to push the feminism movement onward – to inform the younger generation of the disparities between genders and break down the barriers that are in place that divide men and women.
Gloria Steinem once said,
The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.
Take a look at the International Women’s Day website to see how you can get involved.