International Women’s Day is about raising awareness of gender inequality and women’s rights across the world and in order to do this properly, it’s important to keep track of the progress that has been made already, worldwide, since last International Women’s Day in 2017.
Last year saw the launch of the Equal Pay International Coalition by the Organisation of Economic Development, the International Labour Organisation and UN Women as an attempt to get countries to enforce equal pay policies. Norway’s football association also announced pay equality across the sport.
Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan finally eradicated the law allowing rapists to escape charges if they married their victims and there was great progress across Latin America and the Caribbean to protect against forced child marriage. In a huge breakthrough for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, women are also now being granted driving licenses after many years of campaigning.
Importantly, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements more recently have empowered brave victims of sexual abuse to come forward and speak up about the crimes, forcing sexual abuse and harassment at work into public view and encouraging action to be taken.
Despite this action, sadly much remains to be done to ensure gender equality. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released a report earlier last year commenting that progress to gender equality is far too slow. The Fawcett Society also released a Sex Discrimination Law Review in January with considerable findings of inequality within Britain. The main focuses included the gender pay gap, violence against women and girls, hate crime and misogyny and Sex Equality in Northern Ireland.
So it feels as important as ever to keep celebrating International Women’s Day and #PressforProgress until we have achieved equality for women! If you want to get involved yourself, we’ve created a calendar of all the events going on in the city which you can find here, so have a look and pop along to something!