4 things we can change for equality today
International Women’s Day is on 8th March and here we talk about 4 things we can change for equality today.
In 1977 the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim the 8th March as the UN Day for Women’s rights and world peace.
That means that as long as I have been alive, we’ve had an International Women’s Day.
It has been 25 years since we agreed a progressive road map for gender equality at the UN. Have we met these goals? I would argue no. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “I am Generation Equality: realising Women’s Rights.”
unwomen.org suggest 12 actions you can take to improve gender equality.
I can only talk about a few here but these are the ones that I can make a difference within my life – today.
Share the Care
We take on THREE times more unpaid care and domestic work than men. It’s time to say no thanks and spend that energy on our careers or leisure time!
Some ideas on what to start with and how to ask for help…
- Asking for help is really powerful – when you admit that you can’t do it all, you are involving others in the solution. You are not superwomen (Sorry to break it to you!) so you can’t make real change alone.
- Make a list of all the chores. This could be something your husband does too. From taking out the rubbish to the laundry – be clear on what jobs need doing. Often, your unseen jobs are just that – unseen. Make sure people know what it takes to run a household.
- Make a family meeting – ask them what they are willing to take on. My son has started doing all the family ironing. This obviously is taking six times as long as it would take me … but he needs to learn and I need to learn to let go.
- Then thank your family for their hard work. If you thank them, they should recognize that they should thank you too.
- If all that fails – go on strike!
Demand an Equal Work Culture
Easy right? This one has been around forever and is even enshrined in law. But we have still got gender inequality with the wage gap and a whole heap of other things.
So we are going to have to demand it. Some tips to help you when you can influence:
- We need to call it out when we see it. Speak up for all types of equality.
- Demand women leadership on the Board and all the way down.
- Ask to see the salary comparisons of companies from women to men on the same grades.
- Ask for education courses on gender equality to highlight the issues.
- Make sure your male colleagues take their paternity leave and offer support when anyone comes back from parental leave.
‘Go the extra mile by actively supporting companies with a solid record on gender equality. Generation Equality pro tip: The organization Equileap compiles an annual list of the world’s 100 most gender-equitable companies, based on the Women’s Empowerment Principles, established by UN Women and UN Global Compact. Join the ranks by encouraging your own CEO to sign onto the Women’s Empowerment Principles today. “
Teach Girls Their Worth
Respect the Choice of Others
I get this! My mum burnt her bra so I could have a choice.
My Mum burnt her bra so I could have a choice
My Mum burnt her bra so I could be a stay at home mum or a Chairwoman of a Company
My Mum burnt her bra so I could be a Ballerina, a Model, an Air Hostess
My Mum burnt her bra so I could be a Doctor, a Pilot, an Engineer
She didn’t burn her bra so I could be everything. She burnt her bra so I could choose.
The 12 Things we can do to improve Gender Equality.
These are just 4 of the 12 things we can do to improve Gender Equality. Here is the full list:
- Share the care
- Call out sexism and harassment
- Reject the binary
- Demand an equal work culture
- Exercise your political rights
- Shop responsibly
- Amplify feminist books, movies and more
- Teach girls their worth
- Challenge what it means to “be a man”
- Commit to a cause
- Challenge beauty standard
- Respect the choices of others
Please think about what you could do today to help gender equality.