A celebration. Or at least a celebrated work in progress.
International Women's Day is a day to highlight where we are. Whilst it's a celebration of women it's also a chance to explore change, where it occurred and how much more we have to work towards. And as another year passes of #metoo, The Gender Pay Gap and sexual inequality - what can we take from 2019? Some of the UK legislation in action includes major supermarkets being faced with paying predominately female workers over £8bn in equal pay claims and private organisations with 250 or more employees being required to publish their gender pay gap figures.
Our discussion this month was met with warmth and rage alike. How could progress still be slow? Why does it take so much effort to still be heard, in a world where male dominated politics remains topical and discussed thoroughly, why is the fight so real and tangible despite the consistent call-outs and outrage. 2019 however was another year for groundbreaking women. We globally welcomed Greta Thunberg, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ilhan Omar, Lizzo, Sinead Burke, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez & Yara Shahidi but it doesn't do justice to the numbers of women consistently making headlines for pushing the limitations of what is 'socially acceptable'.
Open Knowledge highlights (or lowlights, depending on what you take) the stats. The paper requires more time than I can afford and is an excellent breakdown of 2019's figures, but the below is an example of inbalance between maternal and paternal leave.
Social Media influencers such as muthapukka fight daily to call out the injustices but it's obvious we still have a way to go. It's not just in work place policies and parental rights but everyday narrative, conversational topics and general lexis used every day, in phrases, terminology and the media.
For a brief overview of IWD, we watched:
as well as a video put together by Mumsnet on who inspires us:
We discussed leading women, rule-breaking women, boundary-pushing women, women who endangered their lives, women who fought for others, women who fought for themselves, famous women, our women and the women we loved. They came in their droves and we talked about who influenced our morals and upbringings and senses of self. We also explored what it meant to be women leading our children as part of a couple or doing it alone and how we strived to stay true to who we were whilst changing as a person and a mother.
International Women's Day is a day to highlight all that we've challenged whether it's personal or bigger and to remember that we're all in it together.
We aren't just women fighting to be heard and mothers desperate to be seen, we are a collective and a team and a movement for equality and justice. Happy International Women's Day all you incredible forces.