International Women’s Day 2022

By Linda Crerar

The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2022 was “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow. ” Many events recognized how women around the world are responding to climate change. The International Women’s Day website provides a platform to help forge positive change for women. It has chosen the theme #BreakTheBias and asks people to imagine a gender-equal world, free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. Instead, imagine a diverse, equitable, and inclusive world where difference is valued and celebrated.

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8 to highlight the achievements of women across different fields and show how far they have come in the fight for their rights within the political, cultural, and social spheres. The day also intends to create awareness among women to take a stand for themselves and fight against gender discrimination in society. Clara Zetkin founded International Women’s Day in 1910, which grew out of the labor movement and became an annual event recognized by the United Nations. The seeds were planted in 1908 when 15,000 women marched through New York demanding shorter working hours, better pay, and the right to vote. Things were made official in 1975 when the United Nations started celebrating the day. The first theme adopted (in 1996) was “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future .” The political roots of the day mean that strikes and protests are organized to raise awareness of continued inequality.

Why do we still need International Women’s Day in 2022?

International Women’s Day has never been more important. The pandemic has made it abundantly clear what happens when we don’t prioritize gender equality for women. We have seen a significant step back in the global fight for women’s rights over the past year. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, the time needed to close the global gender gap has increased by a generation from 99.5 years to 135.6 years. Although, there has been progress in female leadership in the past few years.

Kamala Harris became the first female, first black, and first Asian-American US vice-president in 2021. In the same year, Tanzania swore in its first female president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, while Estonia, Sweden, Samoa, and Tunisia got female prime ministers for the first time in history. In January 2022, Xiomara Castro was sworn in as Honduras’ first female president. The impact of the #MeToo conversation, speaking out against experiences of harassment and sexual assault, started in 2017 and became a global phenomenon. The last year has seen developments regarding abortion in several countries. In February 2022, Colombia decriminalized abortions within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Meanwhile, abortion rights have been restricted in some states in the US.

Is there an International Men’s Day?

Yes, it is November 19, but it has only been marked since the 1990s and isn’t recognized by the UN. Nevertheless, people celebrate it in more than 80 countries worldwide, including the UK. According to the organizers, the day marks the positive value men bring to the world, their families, and communities and aims to highlight positive role models, raise awareness of men’s well-being, and improve gender relations. The theme for 2021 was Better relations between men and women.

International Women’s Raises Awareness Around-the world

We have made some progress, although a recent study of 145 nations showed that there’s still a gender gap. Iceland has come closest to equality in economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment, and that’s a start. Still, women are only considered half a witness in court cases in other places, like Yemen. They’re even forbidden to leave the house without their husband’s permission. Nevertheless, we know that raising awareness about women’s plight worldwide helps elevate all women.

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