International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement. We have much to celebrate today. But progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places.
The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133!
On Sunday, Turkish Police fired rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of hundreds of people trying to mark International Women’s Day in central Istanbul. They were seeking to draw attention to women’s issues in Turkey, which ranks 77th out of 138 countries on a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) index of gender equality.
Even in our own country, a shocking 85% of women under the age of 25 have been sexually harassed in public places, leading many of them to plan their daily life in order to avoid situations where they feel unsafe.
The findings come from a new survey by YouGov, which was commissioned by coalition group End Violence Against Women to mark International Women’s Day. (http://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk)
Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly – whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace and social bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.
Globally, with individuals pledging to move from talk to purposeful action – and with men and women joining forces – we can collectively help women advance equal to their numbers and realize the limitless potential they offer economies the world over.
At Girl Skate UK, we are committed to closing the gender gap within skateboarding, by offering relaxed and friendly spaces for women and girls to take part without fear of judgement. And also by creating a digital platform to highlight the skills and talents of girls all over the country in a bid to create more female role models.
We still have a lot of work to do within our industry, but you can help us by creating girls nights and sessions at your local park, or simply just offering to pass on any knowledge to those eager to learn. There are many more ways in which you could help, whether you have little or lots of time – shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved in one of our many events up and down the country.
How will you help to accelerate gender parity?