The 8th of March is International Women’s Day. It’s origins are in the early twentieth century. What will you be doing to celebrate and support women next Wednesday?
Will you be busy challenging bias and inequality in the workplace (for example speaking out against all-male panel discussions or leadership teams), or adding your support to a group that campaigns again violence, or celebrating the success of inspiring women leaders in your life? If you’re a woman, will you be taking some time out of your busy today to celebrate yourself, and appreciate the mothers, sisters, daughters around you?
Women are diverse. Depending on the source, women are either just over or just under half of the world’s 6.9 billion population. According to World Bank estimates, from 217 countries, women make up 49.55% of the world’s population.
- women who are old and young, married and single, of all faiths, ethnicities, and abilities.
- women who have and have not had children.
- women who have partners and who do not; and who are married, divorced, widowed, separated and co-habitating.
- women who are cis- and trans- gender, and non-binary.
- women whose work is recognised, paid and organised as well as women whose work is informal, taken for granted or not noticed at all.
- women who are happy and unhappy within their relationships, and women who are abused and out of sight for fear of violence.
- women who are educated and women who have not had that opportunity.
- women in prison, women in politics, women in power, and women in all professions.
International Women’s Day is a day to pause, reflect and acknowledge women – in all our diversity – and celebrate women in all the very different contexts and day-to-day realities around the world.
Around the world the focus of International Women’s Day has ranged over the years from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women for their economic, political, social and other achievements. Apparently in Iceland in 1975, there was an effective strike on this day that paved the way for the first female president in the world, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir.
Almost two thirds of the inaugural Watipa scholars are young women (61%). They are are hope for the future and already leaders of today, striving to make changes in their communities and succeed in their education. They living in Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Nepal, DRC and Ghana. Some of them are already mothers, and others have ambitions to raise happy and healthy families in the future. Our commitment at Watipa is to continue to champion and support women’s education, provide scholarships and enable entrepreneurship for young women well into the future.
The official UN theme for International Women’s Day in 2017 is #Be Bold For Change. So, what will do next Wednesday 8th of March to be bold for change for women in your community?