Written on: 8 March 2023
Written by: Lydia Chilton
[Employers, Employer, Apprentices, Apprentice]
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Happy International Women's Day 2023!
We are so happy to celebrate this monumental day with you all!
This year's International Women's Day campaign theme is #EmbraceEquity and the theme aims to encourage us to discuss why equal opportunities are not always enough. Instead of equal opportunities - we need fair opportunities!
Essentially, what this means is that rather than everyone receiving equal resources, each person's individual needs should be assessed, and they should then receive their own specific resources that are reflective of their personal circumstances to ensure they can succeed.
First of all, International Women's Day is a celebration! The national holiday encourages us to celebrate the women in our lives, remember those who bravely fought against gender discrimination and honour the achievements of women across the world.
Additionally, International Women’s Day allows us to reflect on how we can collectively combat modern gender discrimination and inequalities. In terms of gender equality, we have come so far – but there is still work to do.
In just the last 12 months we have witnessed anti-trans legislation in the UK, contemporary anti-abortion laws in North America, and suspended schooling by the Taliban in Afghanistan. We cannot have true gender equality until all women are liberated and provided with fair opportunities to succeed.
International Women's Day (as we know it) was not formed until 1975, when the United Nations announced the first 'official' International Women's Day. Then, in 1977, the UN invited other member states to celebrate the national holiday commemorating women's rights and world peace.
However, the concept of International Women's Day has been recognised since the early 20th century across various countries.
In the early 20th century, open discussions of gender equality were not mainstream; the idea that a man and woman should be provided with fair opportunities challenged the principles of Western society and was considered radical thinking.
At this time, in Western societies, women could work but they were often limited to factory jobs or domestic services, which involved long hours for very little pay. Many women grew tired of this blatant misogyny, oppression, and inequality and began to collectively campaign for change.
Women’s rights activists campaigned across the Western world for women’s liberation. They protested and rallied for better working conditions, an increase in pay, and the right to vote – and won! Throughout this period, they fought tirelessly to end gender discrimination.
Many countries recognised the dedication and commitment to the women’s liberation movement and named their own International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate women, protest for change, and fight for more opportunities. Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland honoured their first International Women’s Day all the way back in 1911!
We recommend taking a look at International Women's Day’s timeline which provides a comprehensive overview of the history of International Women’s Day.
Alongside the official #EmbraceEquity campaign theme, the United Nations have announced that their International Women's Day theme is DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.
This cause is close to our hearts. We are a tech and digital training provider, and we are too familiar with the Tech industry’s gender gap. That’s why we push for inclusion and diversity throughout our company; women make up 61.90% of our overall workforce – and 50% of our directors are women!
The UN has concluded that by 2050, a whopping 75% of jobs will be heavily reliant on STEM. However, women and girls across the world are at a disadvantage; many are not provided with the opportunity to learn crucial digital skills.
Women with disabilities, women who live rurally or in less developed countries, women who live in poverty, and older women are just some of the marginalised groups who may not have regular access to technology.
In the modern world, being digitally competent is no longer a luxury - it is a necessity. Our digital competence has a huge effect on the opportunities available to us.
The UN is asking us to #PowerOn to create an equal digital future. Watch the video below, and see how you can help contribute to improving digital opportunities.
Small changes can make the biggest impact. To support International Women's Day 2023, you can...
Do your own research, and share with anyone who will listen!
We recommend reading Bell Hooks - Ain't I a Woman (1981), Laura Bates - Everyday Sexism (2012), and Shon Faye - The Transgender Issue (2021).
Make sure to check out our Baltic Live events, as we regularly invite inspirational guest speakers and host informative conferences.
To help improve the inequalities in digital access, donate your old phone, iPad, tablet, or laptop to Women's Aid via Recycling for Good Causes.
If you are in a position to donate, we recommend Equality Now, Mermaids, Global Fund for Women, and Women for Women International.
Don't forget to tag #EmbraceEquity!
A key component of International Women's Day is respecting the diversity and differences of women. Start small and show the different women in your life you care about them and their lived experiences!
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