International Women’s Day 2016 was on the theme of #PledgeForParity — a campaign that aimed to “help women and girls achieve their ambitions; challenge conscious and unconscious bias; call for gender-balanced leadership; value women and men’s contributions equally; and create inclusive flexible cultures.”
Pledge | #PledgeForParity 2016 Highlights
In a similar effort, International Women’s Day (IWD) 2017’s theme #BeBoldForChange focuses on diminishing the gender gap in business, industry, and all that is currently dominated by the male side of the species. IWD asks the world to step up and take action. The Global Gender Gap Report 2016, hosted through The World Economic Forum, calculated that the gender gap will remain until 2186.* This is an upsetting and scary thought that can easily be changed if we work to make it different.
“This is too long to wait. Around the world, IWD can be an important catalyst and vehicle for driving greater change for women and moving closer to gender parity.” IWD
It is important to remember that women’s issues are varied, they are full of depth, and many are adjoined with intersectional issues. While International Women’s Day is everyday, it can be easy to prioritize Women’s issues in a way that dismisses and erases the economic and racial disparity that so often haunts women’s rights and feminism. While it is right to fight for economic gender parity, specifically in business**, and for closing the gender gap, it would be a mistake to forget that women come from many diverse backgrounds — some from cultures in which business is not an option due to violence against women and against their education. The IWD pledge highlights 5 actions that, I believe, are their attempt to acknowledge the diverse actions one can take by being bold for change. Key word here is “change”.
The IWD Pledge
The pledge is simple to take, does not require identification of name or email, and is easily accessible on the IWD website. I encourage you to take a look at the pledge — both women and men — and select an issue that speaks true to you — one which you know you can sincerely and actively do.
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International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
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*Statistics paraphrased from the IWD website. To read the full Global Gender Gap Report, visit The World Economic Forum website and click on “reports”.
**EY is one of 13 partners for 2017’s #BeBoldForChange
Images are screenshots from IWD website and from Google’s Doodle.