Last year we celebrated women speaking truth to power and making a collective stand together. It was the year that thousands of Australians marched for women’s rights, along with millions of women, children and men around the world.
It was quite a year for women: 2017. Across the world there was a call to arms for respect and dignity, equality, and empowerment for women. The ‘Silence Breakers’ were no longer silent.
It was reactionary: the rhetoric of key leaders around the world stepped into the realm of regressive and oppressive views on gender equality. However, it was long overdue. The matter just hit a tipping point. It wasn’t global outcry reserved for countries where the human rights record and gender equality has been historically poor – Australia had its fair share of females speaking truth to power.
- Television presenter Lisa Wilkinson allegedly demanded equal pay to that of her male counterpart and walked from the Today Show when it was refused.
- After one brave American actress made the decision to speak publicly about her experience of sexual harassment in Hollywood, prompting 83 other women to come forward, a domino effect was seen in Australia and around the world, with women empowered to address bullying and assault by powerful men. The #MeToo movement saw thousands of women sharing their stories online and the “Silence Breakers” of 2017 were named TIME magazine’s person of the year.
Where the agenda got serious profile
Leaders around the world also demonstrated a taste for change. Gender equality was high on the agenda at the World Economic Forum gathering in January 2018, and for the first time ever all of the Co-Chairs were women, coining the phrase a ‘panel not a manel’. The forum had many gender highlights with girls education activist Malala Yousafzei speaking on the importance of educating boys in women’s equality.
2017 also saw years of powerful activism and advocacy from women’s movements being recognised by leaders. In Saudi Arabia, activists could finally celebrate driving becoming legal for women, the last country to do so globally. In Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia, an ancient law stating men could escape punishment for rape, by marrying their accuser, was repealed due to pressure from women’s groups.
The ‘fairer sex’ spent 2017 standing up and demanding their rights to fairness, equality and respect. The momentum shows no signs of slowing down for International Women’s Day 2018.
#Press for Progress
The 2018 theme for International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress, a campaign backed by EY globally. The company wants to see gender parity accelerated. Towards the end of last year it was announced that gender parity in the workplace will take a huge 217 years to even out.
Yes. You read that correctly. No equal pay for women for another 217 years. So, whilst we are making progress there is still a long way to go.
Can you speak truth to power?
Businesses and their workforce everywhere can lead the charge on gender pay parity and equality in the workplace. Make a statement, develop a diversity and inclusion program if you don’t already have one, attend an International Women’s Day event, or donate to charity raising awareness or actively intervening to even the playing field for women and girls around the world. You can give to these charities while you work through Workplace Giving.
What International Women’s Day campaigns are there?
This campaign is calling for participants to make an online declaration choosing one of the following:
“I will maintain a gender parity mindset”
“I will challenge stereotypes and bias”
“I will forge positive visibility of women”
“I will influence others beliefs/actions”
“I will celebrate women’s achievements”
Whether it’s an office morning tea with colleagues, a fun run with friends, or a neighbourhood BBQ, host your own international Women’s Day event. You could even upload it to the International Women’s Day website, to let the world know how you are shining a light on the future of females. Raising money? Get supporting charities who empower women.
Say Yes to Success
Have you done something incredible that deserves recognition? Or maybe you know a focussed female working hard to champion women’s rights? Check out the growing list of International Women’s Day awards here, including local Australian awards.
Collaborate for Gender Parity
International Women’s Day initiatives continue all year round through strategic collaborations with key groups. Does your organisation drive women’s education? Do you further the economic empowerment of women? Submit a proposal to join forces today and impact more women through your initiatives.
Become a Speaker
Join the Women Speakers Register and use the opportunity to share your insights whilst increasing the visibility of women.
International Women’s Day Events in Australia
If you aren’t able to organise an event yourself, there are plenty of local ones that you can attend.
UN Women International Women’s Day Breakfasts
Examining the vital role women play in humanitarian and disaster planning and response & the impacts disasters have on women and girls.
When: 6 March – 9 March 2018
Where: Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide
International Women’s Day Festival Week
When: 2 – 9 March 2018
Where: Hornsby Ku-ring-gai, NSW
International Women’s Day Fun Run
When: 4 March 2018
International Women’s Day Forum and High Tea
When: 8 March 2018
1000 Women, 1000 Futures
When: 8 March 2018
Institute of Managers and Leaders International Women’s Day Great Debate
When: 8 March 2018
Engineers Australia International Women’s Day Lunch
When: 9 March 2018
Get giving for girls
Good2Give is proud to have been named the official 2018 Workplace Giving Partner for UN Women National Committee Australia. If you aren’t sure what charity to give to in support of this global campaign – you can give to UN Women through our Workplace Giving Platform.