Join the 2021 International Women’s Day Challenge

Get ready for March 8.

Women around the world.

(BLACKDAY / Shutterstock.com)

Every year, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. It’s the day to applaud women’s social, cultural, economic and political achievements as well as to raise awareness for women’s equality and gender balance.

This day, according to the International Women’s Day (IWD) website, celebrates all women in all their diversity, all ethnicities, gender, and sexual identity to join voices today and say that women’s rights are human rights. Are you up to this challenge?

This global day has been on the calendar for over a century and it has its origins in 1908 when 15,000 women took to the streets of New York City to protest inhumane working conditions and to demand shorter working days and better pay. This morphed into the creation of Women’s Day and the first IWD was held in 1911. In 1975, the United Nations recognized the March 8 date during International Women’s Year.

This year’s theme is “Choose to Challenge” because a challenged world is one that is alert to the issues surrounding women. According to the organization, If we challenge or call out gender balance than we can, together, build a more inclusive world. After, 2020 the need is even greater as so many women were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

What can you do? First you can join the challenge and raise your hand high as you strike a pose committing to calling out gender inequality. Then, share your image on the IWD website and it will be used on the organization's social media.

According to IWD Australia, March 8 is the day to remind governments, businesses, and everyone everywhere that women aren’t going anywhere and are prepared to take action to achieve equal human rights. Because, “as long as one woman faces discrimination, harassment, inequality or oppression, we all do,” the organization said on its website.

Citing these statistics: In Australia ,despite domestic violence laws, men are still killing their partners (or former partners) at a rate of one a week and there is increasing violence against women and girls due to climate change and the pandemic.

The United Nation’s theme for IWD 2021 is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a Covid-19 World.” This theme, according to a UN press release, said that the pandemic has highlighted the contributions of women in fighting the pandemic and the disproportionate burdens that women carry in an unequal world.

The UN calls for women to be at the forefront of leadership and decision making in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs in the pandemic response and recovery worldwide. It is only when women’s voices and perspectives are brought to the table, that real change will occur. As the post-pandemic world is being rebuilt, are you up for the challenge?

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