And while we know that gender parity won't happen overnight, the good news is that across the world women are making positive gains day by day. Plus, there's indeed a very strong and growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support.
So we can't be complacent. Now, more than ever, there's a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.
International Women's Day is not country, group or organisation specific. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. So together, let's all be tenacious in accelerating gender parity. Collectively, let's all Press for Progress.
March 8 sees the annual IWD campaign theme kick off for the year ahead, although many groups around the world adopt and promote the campaign theme from early in the year. The IWD campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize collective action. The campaign theme does not end on International Women's Day. It's just the start. Throughout the year many groups worldwide adopt the IWD campaign theme for further campaign work, gender-focused initiatives, continuing activity and events. A great example of this was in 2017 when the USA Women's Hockey Team went on to adopt the #BeBoldForChange IWD campaign theme to later rally for equal pay, boycotting the national finals unless a suitable deal was struck. Many fans and further teams supported the campaign.
Collectively we can all play a part
Collective action and shared responsibility for driving gender parity is what makes International Women's Day successful. Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."
Started by the Suffragettes in the early 1900's, the first International Women's Day was celebrated in 1911. International Women's Day belongs to all communities everywhere - governments, companies, charities, educational institutions, networks, associations, the media and more. Whether through a global conference, community gathering, classroom lesson or dinner table conversation - everyone can play a purposeful part in pressing for gender parity.
So make International Women's Day YOUR day and do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women. Press for Progress!