What’s it all about?
The day brings governments, women’s organisations, businesses and charities – as well as all those that support the idea of gender equality – together under the same banner. The day itself is usually marked with talks, performances, rallies, networking events and marches around the world to bring everyone together to celebrate and take action.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress. There has been great progress in recent years, but in recent months it has become clear how far many parts of our society have to go to achieve real equality, with many examples of discrimination and inequality making the headlines. This is why International Women’s Day this year is making this declaration:
“We can’t be complacent. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity.”
What are the #MeToo and #TimesUp hashtags about?
You may have seen celebrities agreeing to wear white roses and black clothes at events like the Grammys and the Golden Globes supporting these movements, not to mention noticed the hashtags all over social media.
Last year saw the rise of the #MeToo movement, in which women from all over the world came forward to share their story of sexual harassment. The #MeToo hashtag started trending worldwide after women who had been sexually harassed or assaulted posted “Me Too” to give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. Stories of inequality and harassment – both big and small – were shared by thousands of women from almost every country, helping kick-start a conversation and building a greater awareness and sense of understanding of how large the problem has become.
Campaigns like this help to remind us that women have fought for an equal place in the world for years, and it’s a cause they – and those that support them – must continue to fight now. It is why we celebrate these women, their ambition, passion and success, every year.
How can I celebrate International Women’s Day?
The International Women’s Day website is asking people to #PressforProgress by making a pledge to help improve gender equality.
The pledge could be to challenge stereotypes and bias or to celebrate women’s achievements. Whichever you choose, you can help make a difference. As the website says, “Individually, we’re one drop but together we’re an ocean.”
Importantly, progress towards gender equality takes more than a pledge. As many of the #MeToo stories have shown, harassment takes many forms and it takes action – both big and small – to help get rid of it.
Find out more about how you can get involved on the International Women’s Day website.