This March, we celebrate women across the globe. Yearly, millions of people join together to celebrate the achievements of women through generations that continuously fight for gender equality. On International Women’s Day we can celebrate heroes like:
- Sojourner Truth who fearlessly fought for gender and racial equality as she became the first black woman to win a custody court battle against a white man and was able to recover her son from slavery.
- Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to go to space, fighting for women’s rights to participate in STEM
- Marsha P. Johnson a prominent transgender activist that fought for the inclusion of transgender people in the LGBT movement.
We can celebrate the generations of women who went through decades of gender bias and unjust treatment for the sole reason of being a woman. We still have work to do. Recent research by the Canadian Women’s Foundation shows inequality is in Canada is still rampant considering:
- Women in Canada earn 28% less than men, and this gap is widening, not closing.
- Women represent only 10% of seats on board of directors
- Women hold only 5.2 % of the CEO roles at Fortune 500 companies.
- Women hold only 8% of top paid jobs in Canada.
The theme of International Women’s Day 2023 is Embrace Equity. The front page of the IWD resource page is of women wrapping their arms around themselves, with captions like, “Equity isn’t just a nice to have, it’s a must have”, “Equity needs to be part of society’s DNA.” While the words under the pictures are important, the images of women giving themselves a hug really made an impact. Perhaps it is an echo of what life was like during the pandemic where embracing our loved ones got put on hold, but the images of women embracing themselves, was simply a potent, and visual reminder that we need to care for ourselves as well.
At Connect we have consciously decided to recognize that our staff, and our teams are in need of some TLC. We have recognized that in order for us to raise the torch, to carry the banner, to make change, in our schools, our workplaces and the fields we play on we may need to do some self-care. So on March 8th, before you stand up and recognize those who have come before you, give yourself a hug, knowing that your battery needs to be charged in order for you too can contribute to an equitable world, #EmbraceEquity by embracing you!