In the spirit of International Women's Day (IWD), today and every March 8th, we're taking the time to celebrate women and reignite our passion for gender equality and change. What you may not know is that each year, IWD has a theme, and this year it's #PressForProgress. As mentioned in our past story, Women On the Rise, we, as women, have made a lot of advances culturally, economically, socially and politically, but now it's time to focus our energy on pushing that progress even further. Every day, the female race is breaking barriers worldwide, but there's still a lot of work to be done in order for us to reach gender parity.
Last year, we saw some giant leaps forward in the fight against sexual harassment and assault, and IWD intends to keep the impetus going. Many of our favorite Hollywood actresses became all the more human as they revealed their private and painful stories in response to the Weinstein effect and the #MeToo Movement. In response, celebrities created the Time's Up initiative on January 1, 2018, "where 300 prominent actresses and female agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives have formed an ambitious, sprawling initiative to fight systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood and in blue-collar workplaces nationwide."1 In addition, a vast majority of our favorite celebs who attended the 2018 Golden Globes, wore all black as a statement – to further spread awareness of the sexual harassment, assault and misconduct in the workplace. To date, this movement has raised $20 million. #TimesUp
It may feel like this flood of revelations blossomed overnight, but they have actually been brewing for years, decades, even centuries. Powerful and influential women have sparked a shift, gathering more and more strength every day. CEOs have been fired, moguls destroyed, icons disgraced – some even reaching criminal charges. Women of all races, classes and occupations from around the world are finding the courage and strength to speak up. A voice has been given.
21st century women are living longer than men. We're winning more mayoral elections and the first transgender woman was elected into office. More women are joining the military, enrolling in law school and taking initiative in the business world.2 We are making strides, but clearly more work is to be done.2
Now is the time to recommit to that spirit and fight for the progress we know is just. These movements have pushed activists to seek and demand deeper social and political change. Progressive women are building off of these movements and are translating this momentum into electoral victories in this year’s midterm election. A world that includes more women leaders would be a more balanced world, benefiting all people, and it’s up to us to create the change.
If you're interested in becoming involved with International Women's Day, here are a couple of easy calls to action:
- Support IWD by sharing your #PressForProgress photos across our social media.
- Take a pledge for progress via the IWD site, and pass it and their message to others.
- Commit to making small changes in your everyday life by motivating friends, loved ones and communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.3
If we persist, change will happen. #beautyofchange
"There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made." – Michelle Obama