5 Pledges for International Women’s Day. #BeBoldForChange
Today is International Women’s Day. This year’s campaign theme is #BeBoldForChange with a call for everyone to create a more inclusive, gender equal world. The campaign gives five bold actions you can pledge to work on to make a difference:
1. Challenge gender bias and inequality
2. Campaign against violence
3. Forge women’s advancement
4. Celebrate women’s achievement
5. Champion women’s education
Here is our BritIt look at the five bold actions and insights into those who have made a difference.
1. Gender bias and inequality – language
Making sure you use gender inclusive language in English will help ensure you are being gender inclusive. Here are 3 nouns you can immediately change to positively impact your language:
- Chairman → chairperson, chair, lead
- Mankind → people, human beings, humans, humanity
- The common man → the average person
2. Campaign against violence – STOP
According to the United Nations, 1 in 3 women still experience physical or sexual violence mostly by an intimate partner. To #beboldforchange against violence, you can:
- educate youth about positive relationships
- challenge those who justify perpetrators and blame victims
- donate to groups fighting abuse
- speak out against the silence of violence
- be vigilant and report violence
- campaign for the prevention of violence
- abstain from all violence, physical and otherwise
- volunteer your help at a local charity
- recognize coercive control and redress it
3. Women’s Advancement – STEM careers
STEM (Women working and studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). According to the organisation Women Million Mentors only 26% of STEM workers are female. There are now many organisations and schemes targeted at addressing this gender imbalance. Our top three are:
- STEM Women ‘creating a safe place for people of all genders to discuss how we can work together to make STEM more inclusive.’
- STEMettes.org is an award-winning social enterprise working across the UK & Ireland and beyond to inspire and support young into STEM careers.’’
- STEMgraduates ‘promoting opportunities, employers and events to female students and graduates.
4.Women’s achievements – It’s historical
There are many women who, often against the odds, have provided outstanding female role models in social, economic, cultural and political life. On 3 March 2017 a film about one such woman premiered in Poland – Maria Skłodowska-Curie (directed by Marie Noelle). Marie Skłodowska-Curie was the only person to be awarded two Nobel Prizes for different sciences and an incredible inspiration for women. She is rightly celebrated as pioneer for women in science and her achievements are still lauded today.
5.Women’s education – Give access
There is a great imbalance in education and educational opportunities for girls and women. One example from UNESCO is that two thirds of illiterate people in the world are female.
There are many individuals, communities and organisations trying to make a difference. Malala Yousafzai, the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner is perhaps one of the best inspirations.
A childhood advocate for girls education in Pakistan, Malala was shot by the Taliban in 2012. From extreme violence sprung hope. Since the vicious attack and public outrage Malala has established the Malala Fund to bring awareness to the social and economic impact of girls’ education and to empower girls to raise their voices, to unlock their potential and to demand change.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, what are you going to pledge to do to #BeBoldForChange?