SANTA MONICA, Calif. – It’s International Women’s Day and women around the world united today in celebration and protest.
Making up half of the global population, women are rightfully asking for equality and equity in their daily lives. This year’s theme for the International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity.
According to the IWD website, equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA. And it’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality.
Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities.
The aim of the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about Why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.
Celebrations for legal and political advancements occurred around the globe today but much work still needs to be done.
On June 24, 2022, The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, making today, the first time since International Women’s Day was recognized by the United Nations in 1977, that women are denied access to abortion in the United States.
Also in the United States, the gender pay gap has remained steady without closing for the past 28 years. According to a report that was published by The Pew Research Center, women earn 80 – 82% of what their male counterparts do for working at similar jobs.
In Japan, activists groups met with government officials today, to once again push for the right of married couples to retain their surnames after marriage. Japanese law states that couples must choose either the wife’s, or the husband’s surname once wed.
In Turkey, women converged on a central Istanbul neighborhood to try and demonstrate for their rights and protest the staggering toll of the deadly quake that hit Turkey and Syria a month ago.
Thousands braved an official ban on the march and were met by police who fired tear gas and detained several people. Similar incidents marred past years’ efforts to hold the march.
Groups held banners saying “we are angry, we are in mourning,” a reference to the more than 46,100 people in Turkey who died in unsafe buildings and the hundreds of thousands left homeless in the Feb. 6 quake.
Finally, The United Nations identified Afghanistan as the most repressive country in the world for women and girls since the Taliban takeover in 2021. The U.N. mission said Afghanistan’s new rulers were “imposing rules that leave most women and girls effectively trapped in their homes.”
They have banned girls’ education beyond sixth grade and barred women from public spaces such as parks and gyms. Women must cover themselves from head to toe and are also barred from working at national and international nongovernmental organizations.
Afghan women’s rights campaigner Zubaida Akbar told the U.N. Security Council that women and girls in the country are facing “the worst crisis for women’s rights in the world.”
“The Taliban have sought not only to erase women from public life, but to extinguish our basic humanity,” said Zubaida, “There is one term that appropriately describes the situation of Afghan woman today: Gender Apartheid.”
Women gathered in Pakistan’s major cities to march amid tight security. Organizers said the demonstrations were aimed at seeking rights guaranteed by the constitution. Some conservative groups last year threatened to stop similar marches by force.
Follow this link to get involved and learn more about International Women’s Day.
Featured image courtesy of The Associated Press, Aaron Favila. Some informational content by AP and the IWD website.