I know a lot of people probably don’t even realize Women’s Day is a day. And even if it has come across your desk or floated across your timeline, why does it matter? Is it just some big feminism fluffy #womenrock movement? Or is it something deeper than that? This week, a community acquaintance I know from South Carolina was killed by her husband of 10 years. I found out via Facebook. Domestic violence, apparently, was no stranger to their marriage. He shot and killed her just before he made a call to his brother and killed himself. In South Carolina, we’re #2 in the nation for men killing women. Globally, 1 in 3 women will experience violence in their lifetime. And here in the UK, 44% of all UK women have experienced violence (either physical or sexual). “Britain ranks among the worst countries in Europe when it comes to women being violently abused,” says Heather Saul from The Independent.
Not only is Women’s Day about this dark issue of domestic violence and several others women still face today, but it’s also about equality issues – equal pay, getting more women in the C-Suite and on corporate boards, encouraging more women to go into STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) – or, if you prefer, STEAM: Science Technology Engineering Arts Math, etc.. All fields where women are underrepresented. Did you know that women make up 40% of the world’s workforce, and yet only account for 1% of the world’s wealth? If that doesn’t tell you there’s a gender gap problem, I don’t know what will. More like a gender rift!! Also, did you know that there are more men on corporate boards named John, Robert, William or James than women on boards altogether? On a positive note, it was announced this week that Germany set a Gender Quota in Boardrooms. Danke, Germany!
Brita Fernandez Schmidt says this about Women’s Day: “I guess that is what I love most about that day – women come together, they inspire each other and they realise their power to change the world, one woman at a time.” Brita is the Executive Director of Women for Women UK.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?:
In honor of Women’s Day, don’t just nod at the Facebook post floating by in vague acknkowledgement. Let it give you a reason to pause and think what each of us can do (male and female) to be better advocates for women’s rights – in the workplace, in our homes and culturally. Additionally, here are a few other things you can do:
- Make a visible show of support and help bring more awareness to the cause by adding a Women’s Day “twibbon” to your profile pic.
- Support your local women entrepreneurs!! One of my favorites for soap: Inglenook Soaps in South Carolina – best lavender mint soap ever!!
- Learn about what’s happening to push for real change for women at InternationalWomensDay.com and how you and/or your company can get involved (@womensday).
- Follow one of my favorite organizations for Women’s Empowerment ever: @worldywca.
- Check out EY’s efforts to closing the gender gap: bit.ly/1wOD5pD (80 years to close teh gender gap? Time to fast forward!)
- Show your little girl these Tree Change Dolls which feature Bratz dolls that got a make-under (just be warned, you might have to dive into an auction war to get one!!)
- Check out this outstanding campaign by YouTube called #DearMe established on this one question posed to women: “If you could go back and talk to your younger self, what would you actually say?” <– amazing!!
Cheers to all of the fabulous ladies out there bringing it everyday!! And to strong women everywhere – “may we know them, may we raise them, may we be them!!” #Cheers