The theme of International Women’s Day (IWD) #WomensDay for 2019 is “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, which puts innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of efforts to achieve equality. It gives everyone the opportunity to recognise the extraordinary resilience, courage and determination of women in a world where daily misogyny and discrimination towards women has been normalised.
Women constitute 51% of the worlds population but remain the poorest section of societies across the globe. Violence and images of abuse of women are commonplace and often ignored. Women continue to do the majority of labour and remain underpaid, sometimes unpaid. Women in different professions remain underpaid compared to their male counterparts. Female infants are aborted and abandoned, girls continue to be underage brides, sex-trafficking of women continues unabated, women frequently die giving birth because of the lack of investment in their health needs, the mutilation of women continues in many countries and hard-won rights are often eroded at the first sign of economic stretch or challenge to established institutional structures. The rights of women, as human beings, are negated in this way, purely because of being born female.
In healthcare in the UK, although women constitute around 70% of the NHS workforce, they are still held back from progressing through the ranks into senior roles – this is also the case in the nursing profession where the majority of staff are women.
IWD generates considerable activity around the globe. It is an official holiday in countries such as Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.
You can search for an event near you at the IWD website.