8th of March marks International Women’s Day (IWD), a day for celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women all across the globe. The other purpose of the day is to recognise the challenges women face, and draw more attention to the inequalities faced by women and other marginalised genders.
The earliest reported observance of a Women’s Day was held on February 28th, 1909, in New York City. It was organised by the Socialist Party of America and was called National Women’s Day. Since then, IWD has developed into a worldwide commemoration, and was first celebrated by the United Nations in 1975. In some countries, IWD is now an official holiday, including Armenia, Cuba, Moldova, Vietnam and Zambia, and in 2019 the German parliament approved a bill to make IWD a public holiday.
The theme for IWD this year is #EmbraceEquity. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the differences between equality and equity, while supporting projects that promote equity for women. This means giving everyone the exact resources and opportunities they need to reach an equal outcome, recognising that the circumstances everyone has are different. Recent discussions have raised the question of whether equality is truly enough. If everyone receives equal treatment, the assumption is they have all started out in the same place, and therefore the outcomes are also unequal. Equity aims to change systemic and structural barriers that prevent people from being able to thrive.
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