Hello women, all women everywhere of every conceivable variety: tip of the hat to you all on this international day of us. International Women’s Day 2016 has a theme: #pledgeforparity, shall we Mexican wave? When I use the f-word it is almost unilaterally regarding equality because that’s the goal isn’t it? Not dominance over another gender but equality with them, in every possible facet of our existence be it access to healthcare and education, parity of pay for the same work, freedom from sexual violence, discrimination and exploitation, being afforded the same opportunities as men in the workplace or, for many, it’s being given a voice and the ability to choose what to do with their bodies and who to spend their lives with.
According to IWD this morning, at the current rate of change we’re looking at a whopping 117 years until women achieve equality in the world. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN YEARS. So maybe I really won’t see gender equality in my lifetime – isn’t that just spit on your neck, kick you in the crotch fantastic?
This year IWD asks us to pledge something of ourselves to start speeding things along. I’m in. I got my pledges underway on Facebook with the cool kids… (I’m sorry. Please still be my friend).
And I’ve spent all day long wishing I’d written more, because there will always be more that we can do.
I recognise that I write about feminism and equality from an extremely privileged position as a white western woman and whilst I try, I must work harder to greater understand issues faced by women in different circumstances than my own, no harm ever came from learning more*. I must also work harder to practice what I preach. I now work in an incredibly male dominated profession, one in which women are categorically underrepresented at pretty much every level bar the tea making one. It’s a bit painful. So I suppose I’m also pledging that I will do better there too, that I will challenge deep rooted chauvinism as I come across it, that I won’t submit to gender stereotypes, that as I climb the ladder I’ll give a hand up to those climbing it behind me as one brilliant female colleague continuously tries to do for me.
A ginormous happy International Women’s Day to you (and you and you and you). Celebrate the awesome women in your life, the awesome men who get it and lets just generally have a great big love in today and every day.
What do you pledge?
*disclaimer: some plonkers have definitely at some point inflicted harm on people who just wanted to know more.