three girls hold eachother in a group hug with their eyes closed, they seem content.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Every year on March 8th people around the world come together to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and rally for gender equality. International Women’s Day has many facets that make it an important day in our annual calendar. For many of us, we’d like to think every day is International Women’s Day. We see female Vice-Presidents, Prime Ministers, CEOs, and small business owners taking up prominence in communities across the globe but there is still plenty of work needing to be done before we see gender parity. There are still many inequalities girls and women face around the world. Here are some statistics we pulled from Built In’s blog on gender bias in the workplace:

  • 42% of women experience gender discrimination at work
  • Men are 30% more likely to obtain managerial roles
  • 23% of CEOs are women

According to the world economic forum’s global gender gap report 2020, at the current rate of change, gender parity will not be attained for another 99.5 years – a startling statistic to consider when we ask ourselves how we can contribute to change.

One way we can beat gender bias is by acknowledging and questioning our assumptions around gender. When we stop automatically assuming that mothers will be the ones who have to leave the workforce to care for children or men are better leaders in the workplace, then we can start to have real conversations about how we can become a society where women aren’t held back financially because of gender bias.” Lara Jennings, TuneFM intern and UNE student.

Well said Lara! In short, we can consider the day an opportunity for global communities to spotlight the achievements society has made toward gender equality and shine a light on the progress yet to be made.

When did International Women’s Day begin?

International Women’s Day celebrations began over a century ago! The day was first honoured by more than one million women and men who attended International Women’s Day rallies across Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland in 1911. The day campaigned for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, hold office, and end discrimination.

How to get involved

There are a few ways you can get involved and celebrate the day!

Share to your socials

A small yet effective way to raise awareness for the Day and continue the conversation is to post on your social media. This might include sharing how you choose to celebrate the day, re-sharing quotes or articles that bring awareness towards gender inequality, or a collage of photos featuring the influential women in your life!

We love to see how the UNE community celebrates the day, so be sure to tag UNE Life in your #IWD2022 photo to go into the draw to win a $50 textbook voucher with the campus bookshop!

Listen to speeches by inspirational women

Hearing the lived experience of women across the world is one of the best ways to expand your understanding and feel inspired toward change. We love this blog by the team at Mashable, who have listed their top 11 speeches by women on gender equality. It features the likes of Michelle Obama, Julia Gillard, Malala Yousafzai, Emma Watson and so many more incredible and inspiring women who are paving the way for future generations!

Wear the IWD colours!

Purple, green, and white are the colours of International Women’s Day. These colours weren’t chosen by random, in fact, they each signify a theme: purple represents justice and dignity, green symbolises hope, and white signifies purity – so get accessorising!

Attend a local or virtual event

There are many events you can get involved in within your local community or online! For on-campus Armidale students, visit us outside Dixon Library on Tuesday from 8.30 am – 9.30 am and grab yourself a tasty breakfast of bircher muesli, fruit, pancakes, and chai tea! For all students, the team at TuneFM will be highlighting some of the strong female musicians who have graced their airways over the last 50 years! You can listen to their live stream anywhere in the world via their website.

For something further afield, you can search for local and virtual events on the International Women’s Day website.

Support a female-owned business

Support businesses owned, operated, and controlled by women! Over the past two years there has been a greater show of appreciation toward supporting our local community and small businesses. So which female-powered businesses can you support today – and every day? Some ways you can support these organisations if by following them on social media, purchasing their products & services, or giving them a shout-out to your friends and family.

Acknowledge the wonderful women in your life!

Sharing kudos goes a long way! What inspiring women in your life can you send a message of appreciation to today? Let’s share the love 💟

“We know that women are more likely to experience gender-based violence. We know that women are still paid less than their male counterparts for the same work. And if we do indeed know these things, then we should be taking every opportunity to have an honest conversation about these biases and look for ways to remedy them. Gender equality is far from a “women-only” issue. All of us are the beneficiaries of better female representation, and it’s through such initiatives as IWD that we are encouraged to reflect on this, and put these remedies in place” Ben Bible, UNE Life General Manager

Together, we can break gender bias and make real changes for future generations. 

Join UNE Life as we celebrate tomorrow. See our events page for more.

You are never alone at UNE. 

The team at Advocacy and Welfare are your independent Advocates, they’re always available to help you through any study or personal issues.