Today is International Women’s Day.
Women’s day is a day to celebrate the achievements of women and recognise how far we have come but also to realise how far we have left to go. Many people fall into the trap of thinking we have “no need for feminism any more” and that “women are equal now”. Women may be equal in many aspects of law and in theory but certainly not in practice in the real world and certainly not in the hearts and minds of many.
It is an unfortunate fact that women are still not paid equally to their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, women still lose their jobs because they get pregnant and globally women’s education and health care is worse than that of men. Women throughout the world suffer high rates of gender based and sexual violence leading to the deaths of two women per week at the hands of a violent partner in England and Wales alone. Women of colour and women with disabilities suffer proportionately more due to the intersections of race and disability.
The theme of this years Women’s Day is the Pledge for Parity, the idea is anyone and everyone can make a concrete pledge to take a step toward increasing gender parity. You can read about the pledge on the International Women’s Day website.
I have chosen the pledge to help women and girls achieve their ambitions. I think I can contribute toward this through my volunteer work with the HMSA and I also really want to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better once I’ve finished my course and help women whose appearance has been changed by cancer feel more confident again.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the timeless Coco Chanel:
“A girl should be two things; who and what she wants”
Are you making a pledge for this Women’s Day? Have you posted a pledge selfie?