Today (8 March) is International Women’s Day (IWD), and this year the theme is #EachForEqual, highlighting the individual actions we can all take to affect big change.
As individuals, we can all take steps to challenge perceptions, shift biases, and lift up other women, to celebrate their achievements and pave the way for gender equality across the world.
There are various issues that affect women more-so than men: from equal pay and sexual harassment, to forced marriage and domestic abuse, it can often feel like the world is stacked against us as women and girls.
IWD aims to draw attention to the issues that affect women and girls, to raise awareness and encourage more people to get involved in campaigns for change.
- Up to 500 million women and girls around the world are living in period poverty, meaning they don’t have basic access to sanitary products, or can’t afford them.
- An estimated 28.9 per cent of women aged 16-59 have experienced domestic abuse, but as it’s a crime that’s underreported, this figure could be higher.
- Women of almost all ethnicities experience a pay gap with white British men in the UK, however it is wider for some: almost 15 per cent for white women, and 19.6 per cent for black African women.
- Disabled women are 25.9 percentage points less likely to be in employment that non-disabled women, and 34.5 percentage points less than non-disabled men.
Check out our "Because She Watched" collection, celebrating the stories that have inspired the women who inspire us.
— UN Women (@UN_Women) March 6, 2020
- Every year, 12 million girls (one in five) are married before the age of 18. This means that over 650 million women alive today were married as children: the majority against their will, and usually to a man considerably older than them.
- One in 10 women in Scotland has experienced rape, and one in five has had someone try to make them have sex against their will.
The statistics sound bleak, but thanks to the tireless work of charities, activists and everyday actions, we step closer to true gender equality every day.
— Amnesty International (@amnesty) March 6, 2020
If you want to get involved with International Women’s Day, there are plenty of things you can do. Firstly, have open conversations wherever you can about the issues affecting women – not just you – around the world. Help others understand the experiences that women are enduring and try to change their perspective about why change is needed.
If you can, it’s worth donating money to charities and organisations working for gender equality. Whether you want to support women living in period poverty, LGBTQ+ women, refugees and immigrant women, disabled women, female-run businesses, women escaping an abusive relationship, or the numerous other causes, there are plenty of organisations you can donate your to.
This enables you to not only learn more about women’s issues, but also help women who aren’t as fortunate. If you can’t afford to donate money, there are plenty of opportunities to get volunteering with some valuable causes after school.
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"'Net zero emissions by 2050' for the EU equals surrender." I have – with 33 other climate strikers from all across Europe – written an open letter to EU leaders ahead of the presentation of the proposed climate law. Link in bio. #EUClimateLaw #FridaysForFuture @carbonbrief @fridaysforfuture
IWD is a celebration of women and the diversity of our achievements. However, it’s also an urgent reminder of the women around the world who are facing discrimination, abuse and don’t have freedom of choice. This IWD, how will you make a difference?