Celebrating International Women's Day When Boris Johnson picked 8 March as the day Paulinas (and millions of others) begin to return to some sort of normality, it’s likely he hadn’t realised the significance of that date - it was International Women’s Day.  110 years after the first International Women’s Day, it’s a source of shame, anger and sorrow that we still haven’t achieved gender equality, and that a day on which women around the world can make their voices heard remains as relevant as ever. While we recognise the struggles and achievements of the foremothers on whose shoulders we stand, we have a long way to go. According to the World Economic Forum, none of us will see genuine gender equality in our lifetimes, nor will many of our children. Gender parity will not be reached for almost a century. We can’t remain silent. 

On 8 March, we aimed to: 

  • celebrate women’s achievements 
  • raise awareness about women’s equality 
  • lobby for accelerated gender parity 
  • fundraise for female-focused charities.

The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2021 was ‘Choose to Challenge.’ A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all #ChooseToChallenge. 

It takes courage to call out gender bias and inequality but there’s strength in numbers and the worldwide campaign needs as many women as possible to literally raise their hands to support the cause. Strike the Choose To Challenge pose by raising your arm as you would to take an oath and share on social media using #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021 to encourage others to commit to helping forge an inclusive world. 

The real challenge is to make sure the message is heard and to keep on challenging, no matter what the date is. To keep us on track, International Women’s Day established a number of broad missions from educating women on healthcare choices, celebrating women’s attainments in all spheres from tech to sport, creating genuinely inclusive workspaces where women can thrive, enhancing the visibility of women creatives and several more. It should be a goal of each of us to pick and support one or more of these that resonate with our particular circumstances. 

International Women’s Day is also a time to honour and commemorate every woman in our lives. In Italy, Russia and some Eastern European countries, women are presented with mimosa on 8 March, as a token of appreciation for all that they do. Italian feminists Rita Montagna and Teresa Mattei chose this flower in 1946 as a symbol of strength, sensibility and sensitivity and their idea was adopted as a charming gesture of recognition by the movement. 

We hope you all had a happy International Women’s Day! 

Amara VI