International Women's Day 2020
Why should we still give a damn about International Women's Day in 2020?
The question to me is rather, how can we not. Yes, International Women's Day is a time for celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world, and who doesn't love a party to celebrate achievements? But, it is also a day for shouting into the megaphone about what calls for actions that are still needed to speed up the process towards gender equality.
Grim UNDP Report on Gender Bias
On 5 March 2020, The UN's Development Programme (UNDP) published their Gender Social Norms Index, and what a depressing read that was.
The report measures social beliefs that obstruct gender equality in areas like politics, work, and education, and it's findings are based on data from 75 countries, covering over 80 percent of the world’s population.
Some of the main findings were that almost 90% of men and women globally are biased against women. Hence it followed that it is not just the glass ceiling holding women back towards achieving gender equality, it is also the societal norms that do so, and these norms are held by men and women alike.
Further, the report found that 40% of the men and women interviewed in the study think that men make better business executives, almost 50% think men make better political leaders than women, and 28% of men and women interviewed think it is okay for a man to beat his wife. Read the full UNDP report here.
2020 Campaign for Gender Equality: What can we do as Individuals?
On the backdrop of this report, the theme of 2020 International Women's Day could not have been better chosen. The campaign focuses on what we can do as individuals to help promote a more gender-equal world.
We are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions, and accordingly, we can choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements.
With 3.856.064.186 women in the world currently, women are a force to be reckoned with, and we can collectively help create a gender-equal world.
However, gender equality is not merely a women's issue, it's also a business issue, a political issue, a development issue... a societal issue.
All research shows that gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive. A gender-equal world can be healthier, wealthier and more harmonious - so what's not to love about that prospect?
Under the heading of the Each for Equal hashtag, 2020 will see a push for so-called 'Collective Individualism', whereby we can all see our part in the world as a whole, where our individual actions, conversations, behaviors, and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society.
Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender-equal world with a higher degree of gender-equal boardroom, a gender-equal government, gender-equal media coverage, gender-equal workplaces, gender-equal sports coverage, more gender equality in health and wealth.
RAW's Commitment to Gender Equality
As a women and former human rights diplomat working on sustainable development in Subsaharan African, Asia, and Eastern Europe, it is no great surprise that women's rights and gender equality is close to my heart, and the reasoning behind choosing to donate 10% of the annual profit from RAW to the charity Women for Women. Women for women is a non-governmental organisation that helps women survivors of war in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Nigeria, the DRC, Rwanda, and Iraq. The Charity helps women rebuild their lives through vocational training, human rights awareness and ensuring they have a viable and sustainable future of their own choosing.
Every year on International Women's Day, RAW will hold a sale, where 25% from all sales with go to Women for Women, just as a small token in support of the life-changing work they do in support of assisting women in these fragile states make a sustainable life and livelihood for themselves.
Female Leadership Inspiration
In need of some inspiration for female empowerment, then click here to access the Ecowarrior Princess blog on the 10 best Female Leadership Podcasts, which have been selected to mark International Women’s Day. The aim of the podcasts is to empower girls and women to reach their potential. Whether you need business inspiration, life guidance or just words of wisdom, listening to these selected podcasts for some Sunday inspiration to help you navigate your work and personal life with more courage, ease and motivation.
Be the change, gorgeous.