The campaign theme for
Friday’s global event calls for balance for a better world. Women all over the world will be celebrating International Women’s Day this Friday. But what is the ‘Balance for Better’ theme, and what is it all about?
It is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements and calls for gender equality. The day has been observed since the early 1900s and aims to bring together governments, women’s organizations and charities.
Last year the official UN theme was ‘Time is Now: Rural and urban activists changing women’s lives’. But in 2019 there are three focuses to the theme: ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change’. There is also a campaign theme, which this year is Believe for Better.
On the International Women’s Day website, it says: “A balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”
How is International Women’s Day celebrated?
Women have been encouraged to celebrate the event by taking the day off work to demonstrate how valuable they are to the economy. Many ways both women and men celebrate the occasion is speak out for equality, share information and support online and make your voice heard.
Large numbers of women take part in marches on International Women’s Day. Some years women have even gone on strike. Marches and strikes take place for multiple causes: ending gender violence, reproductive justice, body autonomy and freedom of choice for all women, labor rights and equal pay for equal work, environmental justice and recognition of its links with social inequality, ending racism and police brutality.
Many workplaces celebrate the day in the office with a themed morning tea or lunch, possibly with women speakers or a film screening on women’s issues. Other events include: women’s networking event, donating to a local women’s refuge, or simply doing something kind for a woman you love.
Many students in schools and other educational settings participate in special lessons, debates or presentations about the importance of women in society, their influence, and issues that affect them. In some countries school children bring gifts to their female teachers and women receive small presents from friends or family members. Many workplaces make a special mention about International Women’s Day through internal newsletters or notices, or by handing out promotional material focusing on the day.
Meanwhile, international Women’s Day is a public holiday in some countries such as (but not exclusive to): Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
Many businesses, government offices, educational institutions are closed in the above-mentioned countries on this day, where it is sometimes called Women’s Day. International Women’s Day is a national observance in many other countries. Some cities may host various wide-scale events such as street marches, which may temporarily affect parking and traffic conditions.
Indeed, much progress has been made to protect and promote women’s rights in recent times. However, nowhere in the world can women claim to have all the same rights and opportunities as men, according to the UN. The majority of the world’s 1.3 billion absolute poor are women. On average, women receive between 30 and 40 percent less pay than men earn for the same work. Women also continue to be victims of violence, with rape and domestic violence listed as significant causes of disability and death among women worldwide.
The UN drew global attention to women’s concerns in 1975 by calling for an International Women’s Year. It also convened the first conference on women in Mexico City that year. The UN General Assembly then invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace in 1977. The day aimed to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women. It also focused on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development. International Men’s Day is also celebrated on November 19 each year.
The International Women’s Day logo is in purple and white and features the symbol of Venus, which is also the symbol of being female. The faces of women of all backgrounds, ages, and nations are also seen in various promotions, such as posters, postcards and information booklets, on International Women’s Day. Various messages and slogans that promote the day are also publicized during this time of the year.
The campaign theme for