Women's Takeover: Celebrating International Women's Day 2022
- Credit: INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
Contrary to popular belief, International Women’s Day is not a new thing - it has in fact existed for more than 100 years.
Each year, March 8 becomes a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
It also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.
When it first began
The first IWD gathering in 1911 was supported by over a million people and today, it has become a celebration that belongs to all groups everywhere.
The organisation behind the day paints an inspirational picture of what the future could hold, and this year it is focusing on a collective ambition to “break the bias”.
The official IWD website’s statement reads: “Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
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“Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.
“Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”
Why not have an international day for all?
Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women – as well as other marginalised groups - to move ahead.
Knowing that bias exists is not enough and action is needed to level the playing field.
Individual actions make an enormous impact, as well as organisational efforts supporting women.
Rather than focusing on misogynists who will gather in packs on social media, be the person who listens to women, pays attention to the specific ways in which they need and want to be supported, and read the room in order to know when to step back and when to step in.
The role of men on International Women’s Day
Gender equality is not only a woman’s issue. It is wider than that. What it is, is a social and economic imperative.
This is a day about inclusivity and collaboration, as much as it is women, and it is important men are included in this equation.
So, while they are waiting for their own international day on November 19, here is something that can be done in the meantime - support a cause supporting women:
- The Pandora Project offers support to women and children affected by domestic abuse living in west north Norfolk.
- Norfolk Community Foundation is an independent charity helping communities, as well as supporting women and girls towards empowerment and opportunity.
- Sands support anyone affected by the death of a baby, improves the care bereaved parents receive, and creates a world where fewer babies die.
- The Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal aims to raise £800,000 to create a new breast cancer unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
- Leeway supports adults and young people looking to break free from domestic abuse in Norfolk
What can you do to help?
- Actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it – but be mindful of putting personal safety first
- Take a selfie on your social media channels, crossing your arms in the IWD pose to show solidarity
- Use the hashtags #IWD2022 and #BreakTheBias to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world
- Register yourself in the IWD community via its website to access IWD resources
- Do not shut down conversations by dismissing the movement
- Inspire the next generation and check out the IWD Gender and Women's Rights Activity Pack online, developed by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
- Contact Puffin Schools to give young readers access to new feminist icons and ideas and use your local library for more recommendations