International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8th every year and is a global celebration of women’s achievements and a call for gender equality. The day has its roots in the labor movements of North America and Europe in the early 20th century, with the first IWD being observed in 1911. In 1977, the United Nations officially recognized the day, and it has since become a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is Embrace Equity, with the hashtag #EmbraceEquity.
Understanding the Difference Between Equity and Equality
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day aims to highlight the importance of gender equity in every society. Equity is often confused with equality, but the two terms are different. Equality is giving everyone the same resources, opportunities, and support regardless of their background, circumstances, or needs. Equity, on the other hand, is recognizing that each person has different circumstances and allocating resources and opportunities accordingly to achieve an equal outcome.
Embracing Equity for a Better World
The theme of Embrace Equity for this year’s International Women’s Day is particularly timely. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing gender inequalities and highlighted the need for more equitable policies and practices. Women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, facing higher rates of job loss, increased caregiving responsibilities, and a rise in domestic violence.
To address these challenges, it is crucial to embrace equity and recognize the unique challenges faced by women from diverse backgrounds. It is essential to prioritize policies and practices that support women’s economic, social, and political empowerment. This includes measures like pay equity, affordable childcare, parental leave, and access to education and training opportunities.
Achieving Gender Equity in Society
Achieving gender equity requires collective action at all levels of society, from grassroots organizations to global institutions. Governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector must work together to promote gender equity and challenge patriarchal norms and practices that perpetuate inequality.