‘Breaking The Bias’ is the theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022 which falls on Tuesday 8th March. This year’s theme aims to promote gender equality on a global scale and encourages a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination which is diverse, equitable and inclusive. It is a collective message that encourages everyone to participate in the movement to break down societal barriers and promote an equal world.
International Women’s Day originated from the labour movement in New York in 1908 in which 15,000 women marched through New York City to demand better working conditions, pay increases and the right to vote. A year later this was dubbed the first ‘National Women’s Day and campaigners looked to grow the movement internationally in 1910. International Women’s Day was first celebrated across Europe in 1911 and spread quickly across the world.
International Women’s Day is a celebration of women’s achievements in all areas of society, whilst also highlighting inequalities that still need addressing. Sadly, despite there being huge social change towards gender parity within the last 100 years, there is still much more change needed to reach the goal of gender equality.
According to the Office for National Statistics, between April 2020 and March 2021, 177 women were murdered in England and Wales with 60% of these women knowing their killer. Women are also statistically more likely to be killed by those closest to them with 32% of women being killed by their partner or family compared to 2% of men.
Within the past year alone, there have been tragic attacks against women and girls by men in the UK with high profile cases such as Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa who were simply walking home alone, and the tragic death of Ava White in Liverpool who was 12 years old. On a global scale, there are also various issues that women face such as child marriage, domestic abuse female mutilation and much more.
Sadly, the Covid19 pandemic has led to an increase in domestic violence as people across the world were told to stay home in a bid to stay safe from Covid19. Unfortunately, not everyone’s homes are their safe space as a UN Women study in 2021 found that in 13 countries, 1 in 2 women reported that they themselves or a woman they knew had experienced domestic violence during the pandemic.
Whilst these issues seem extremely deep-rooted within our global society, International Women’s Day serves to raise awareness of the inequalities that many women still sadly face and encourages a proactive approach to eradicate these issues. The day holds an empowering message for people to take action and promote changes, both small and large, and make moves to create a more equal society.
So use this day as an opportunity to promote change within the world. You can do this by donating to a women’s charity that supports victims of domestic abuse, donating menstrual products at your local food bank or simply learning more and educating yourself on gender inequalities happening across the world. Any change you make is positive and can make a difference.