It is International Women’s Day (IWD)! A day when acts of courage and determination by ordinary women are touted. It is a day when women are celebrated, as well as reminded of their value, worth and great significance to mother earth.
International Women’s Day seeks to empower women across the globe, by encouraging and promoting gender equality; a move which seeks to end all forms of discrimination and violence against all women and girls everywhere.
International Women’s Day has long been in existence, only that it comes with varying dynamics as the years go by. The day has been observed since the early 1900’s. This was when huge disregard and maltreatment of women prevailed in many parts of the world, leading to the emergence of the ideology.
Today, not just government or certain individuals; the awareness of gender equality has so spread around the world that even the youngest girl at the moment, has an idea of what respect for women means. While International Women’s Day has become more or less an anthem in our world, it is important to note that no government body, NGO or group of any sought, represents the idea.
IWD is mostly projected by people who deem fit the struggle for human rights as well as gender equality. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.
2017 IWD Theme – Be Bold For Change
Each IWD celebration comes with a different title. This year’s theme calls on women to be Bold for Change.
All along, IWD has been all about calling for a more gender inclusive world. It has been all about working to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, which has some of its goals as follows:
-Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girl.
-Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
-By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes.
-By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.
-End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
-Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
-Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
With this year’s theme, the IWD initiative seeks to prepare the grounds for the anticipated acceptance of this long call for a more gender inclusive world. The question to deliberate on for this year is; What if the world stepped up to take bold action, will you be bold for change?
As usual, this theme has generated a trending hashtag #BeBoldForChange on social media. Many advocates have shared the hashtag with inspiring quotes and pictures of great women in history, in solidarity with this year’s theme. Feminists and advocates of women’s rights have taken to different platforms to support the theme and call for further support from stakeholders.
In recent times, there have been a huge rise in the support of the awareness of IWD across the world. This massive support is mostly seen among the young generation.
John Mahama celebrates Women’s Day
Former Ghanaian President John Mahama has joined in the world awareness for an inclusive world. Mahama has called for more support for women as the world marks International Women’s Day. The former Ghanaian President took to social media to raise calls for value and support for women.
“Let’s dedicate today to reflect on the toils of our mothers, sisters and wives. And let’s commit to making the world a better place for all girls and women.”
The society has not fully accepted the inclusion of women. High rate of gender disparity still prevails in some parts of Africa, where women are challenged with cultural and some workplace practices that work against their progress. The intensity of gender disparity in Africa, seen in the gross economic and social discrimination against women, has given rise to various sensitization programs. These programs initiated by individuals against the subjection of women, aim to educate women on their supposed high esteemed value in the society.
This year’s theme which calls on women to be #Boldforchange, also seeks to erase the fears of women whose myopia have become a hindrance to their optimism; giving them a hope of the possibility of achieving a society where women’s rights are fully respected.