At Addicted we love to celebrate women, whether it’s through our Addicted Inspiration series, our #womancrushwednesdays and more. So today we’re proud to highlight a celebration of women around the world; International Women’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate the achievements of women, but it’s also a day to stand up and fight for what we have yet to achieve; equality, for every woman, everywhere around the world.
International Women’s Day as we now know it started back in 1911 in Europe. Over 1 million women and men participated in protests and events that day. In 1977, the United Nations adopted a resolution designating March 8 as International Women’s Day, and many countries including Canada followed suite.
IWD’s intention is as strong today as it was back then. Though huge strides have been made in the fight for equality, every day, all over the world women are still treated as second class citizens. Women are 20% more likely to experience physical assault than men, most often at the hands of someone they know. Those assault victims are more likely to be put on trial for their actions than their attackers. Women are more likely to feel unsafe while walking alone at night, simply because of our gender. In the U.S. and even parts of Canada women’s reproductive rights are compromised, and decided upon by men who frankly should have no say in the matter.
When it comes to the working world, women are still paid less than men (less than 70 cents on the dollar right here in Canada, for instance). Women are more likely to compromise on career vs family, and are more likely to be passed over for promotions than men in similar positions. Women make up just 21.6% of Financial Post 500* board members. (The Financial Post’s ranking of Canada’s largest companies by revenue). For all those reasons and more, today also marks another protest: a Day without a Woman.
Brought about by the masterminds behind the January 21st Women’s March, today women are encouraged to take the day off from paid and unpaid work (if they are able), to remind us all of how integral women to any and every workplace, and therefore entitled to equal pay. People are also encouraged to support female run local businesses and discouraged from participating in other forms of commerce. Men are asked to assist further with childcare, and join their voices to their female counterparts in asking for fair and equitable treatment for women, at work and in life.
Living in North America, I consider myself lucky to be in a place where women are at least not seen as property, where we have the freedom to work and live where we want, and can be who we want to be. But things are far from perfect. The U.S. voted in a President with a history of abuse of women, over a woman with a history of political experience. That event has already launched one of the largest women’s rights protest in history. And today will mark another.
So on International Women’s day, do your part to support women all over the world. Spread awareness using this year’s campaign slogans #Equalitymatters and #Beboldforchange on social media. Wear red as a sign of “revolutionary love and sacrifice”. Give your patronage to female run businesses. Help out around the house and with the family. Highlight the contribution of your female coworkers. Most of all, make a point of showing and telling the women around you that they are valued, and that not only do they deserve equal pay and equal rights, but that they are absolutely entitled to them.
This is no longer a discussion, this is a demand. And today, on International Women’s Day, it’s about damn time that that demand is met.