An “other” Woman
1975 was declared International Women’s Year by the United Nations and since 1977 the 8th March has been celebrated as International Women’s Day. Why dedicate a day exclusively to celebrate the world’s women? It’s a question asked many times over – and not just by men.
To secure peace and social progress, alongside the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedom for all, as mandated by the United Nations, it was recognized that active participation and development of equality for women was necessary. This thinking precipitated the initiation of International Women’s Day.
It was also to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security. For the women of the world, the Day’s symbolism has wider meaning, as it is an occasion to review progress in the struggle for equality, peace and development. It is also an opportunity to unite, network and mobilise for meaningful change.
If we examine the 35 years since the Day’s inception and compare how much progress has been made in the female arena to the progress made in the technology sector the results are woefully lacking.
In 1977 we were all relishing the fact that we could now photocopy onto paper and we were still on landline telephone communication and relied on an envelope and a stamp to “mail” someone! And look where we are now.
Progress towards fundamental freedom and equality for the women of our world has moved incredibly slowly by comparison. And in business we still bemoan the fact that there are not enough women on Boards, that access to finance for a woman to grow her business is a consistent challenge, market visibility depends on location and acceptance that a woman can juggle the roles of mother, wife, and successful career woman are still questioned.
To facilitate faster progress an annual International Theme has been adopted since 1996, in an attempt to focus debate and action. For 2012 the theme is “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty”. Great concept! But WE need to action it!
What steps are you taking to empower just one other woman?