#EmbraceEquity and #PowerOn: What You Can Do To Celebrate IWD This Year
Updated: Mar 10
*Insert enthusiastic squeals here*
It’s International Women’s Day today!
Okay, I'm usually not this frenzied but it’s International Women’s Day (IWD) and if you can’t already tell, I'm VERY excited!
IWD presents the opportunity for us to honor and celebrate women all over the world for their contributions, achievements, resilience, and for just simply ✨existing✨. It is a time to reflect on how far we have come in the pursuit of gender equality and how much farther we have to go.
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Report, it will take 132 years to close the global gender gap. That’s slightly over a century and three decades! I wonder where I might be after all that time, probably six feet under, or in an urn, or maybe I’ll be a fossil fuel. The point is, we still have an incredibly long way to go.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Unfortunately, this is not the reality for millions of women all over the world. For so long, the rights, freedoms, and dignity of women have been taken away and ignored.
This year the United Nations and IWD have different campaign themes for the celebration of IWD.
In this article, we’d be exploring both themes and what they mean for the fight for gender equality.
Without further ado, let's jump right into the IWD theme. Afterward, we’ll treat the UN theme. So don’t touch that dial! Don’t close this tab! Don’t leave, please read on! Thank you, I knew you were a real one! *wink*
The 2023 IWD Theme by IWD
The theme for this year's IWD is…
The campaign theme #EmbraceEquity aims to stir the conversation on why equal opportunities are not enough. Gender inequality has affected women’s progress disproportionately. This fact necessitates that the goal of equality can only be achieved through equitable steps. By embracing equity, improved and more sustainable outcomes will be realized.
By now, you might be asking 'What is equity, and isn’t it the same as equality?'
Both terms are often used interchangeably, however, they convey different meanings.
Equality means providing the same to all. It means that everyone is treated impartially, with unbiased access to the same rights, resources, and opportunities.
Equity, on the other hand, means fairness and justness. Equity occurs when resources and opportunities are provided based on the unique and specific needs or circumstances of a person or group. By doing so, all parties involved can be on a level playing field. It may involve using distinct measures to make up for the years of discrimination and inequality.
Equity ensures that everyone has a fair chance, not only at the starting point but also at the finish line.
As we celebrate women on IWD, we must be more conscious of the need to embrace equity as a means to an egalitarian end.
The 2023 IWD Theme by the UN and UN Women
The UN and UN Women theme for IWD 2023 is
*drumroll please, again*
DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality #PowerOn
It’s a clever play on words, which we love!
The UN seeks to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women and girls to transformative technology and digital education. The theme encourages the exploration of how the digital gender gap contributes to widening social and economic inequalities. It also highlights the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces, and addressing online and gender-based cyberbullying.
There’s no denying that we’re slowly moving to an online, and technology-driven world. Women and girls should not be left behind for any reason. This year, international bodies, industry actors, you, and I are called upon to channel our efforts toward closing the digital gender divide, making the digital world safer and more inclusive.
Okay, we have reeled out all this information about themes by these international bodies, and you’re wondering, 'what can I do?' Fear not! We have your back (especially if you’ve read this far).
DO MORE PROMPTS
This IWD, we have been challenged to be more active about issues affecting women. There are several ways we can embrace equity and aid in closing the digital gender divide. Some of the actions you can take are:
Understanding that personal efforts contribute towards the achievement of OUR goal of gender equality. We don’t need to depend solely on international bodies and large organizations. The change starts with me and you!
Recognizing our values and differences as humans.
Amplifying your voice, starting important conversations, and creating awareness on social media about the challenges women face. Joining and publicizing campaigns for gender equality and women’s rights. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #EmbraceEquity or #PowerOn.
Actively seeking resources and educating yourself on what discrimination and gender inequality are, and how we can achieve gender parity. Check out our READ MORE PROMPTS below to learn more about this topic.
Contributing to or volunteering with organisations that champion women's rights or causes! Some of our favorite organizations are; SisterlyHQ, Her Dream Initiative, and Churchonthestreetng which support women and girls!
Speaking up against technology-facilitated violence, such as cyberbullying, against women and girls.
Watching any of these videos:
BONUS: Join the celebration by striking the #EmbraceEquity pose!
Source: International Women's Day
DISCLAIMER: This is not an exhaustive list, but it serves as a good starting point.
Gender equality is possible, closing the digital gender gap is possible and with our seemingly small contributions, we will surely inch closer to the goal of equality.
Finally, to all my girlies and allies – Happy International Women’s Day!
SOURCES & REFERENCES
Gender gap: These are the world’s most gender-equal countries: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/07/gender-equal-countries-gender-gap
UNICEF Glossary of Terms and Concepts: https://www.unicef.org/rosa/media/1761/file/Genderglossarytermsandconcepts.pdf
International Women’s Day: What’s the difference between equity and equality? https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/03/equity-equality-women-iwd/
Power On: How We Can Supercharge An Equitable Digital Future https://www.unwomen.org/en/news-stories/explainer/2023/02/power-on-how-we-can-supercharge-an-equitable-digital-future
DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality: https://www.un.org/en/observances/womens-day
WRITTEN BY Ogaku Agabi
Ogaku is a lawyer. She is passionate about art and things that show the creativity of the human mind. When she is not appreciating talent and creativity, she is probably poring over some legal text.
You can connect with Ogaku on LinkedIn!
EDITED BY Chizulu Uwolloh.
'Zulu is a writer, self-proclaimed bibliophile, lawyer, and international development professional passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities. She is also the founder of Kurerie, a digital platform, and community that amplifies the voices of youth making an impact in their communities. Kurerie educates young people on how they can become active stakeholders in the achievement of the SDGs.
Want to connect with Zulu?