International Women’s Day – a day for equality, not just for women

The first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911, and then – as now – it was (and is) an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the achievements of women, and to focus attention on the work that still needed (and needs) to be done to ensure that women have equal rights, in whatever context they work and live. The Day is widely acknowledged, with thousands of events all over the world; it has become a fixture in the world calendar.

There is no doubt that investing in women pays off – when women are more equal in pay and status to men, economies flourish and societies grow. This is not down to the women alone, of course, and it would be a mistake to think so – equality demands understanding and action from all people in order for it to be truly worthy of its name. Women alone should not – and indeed cannot – be solely responsible for equality throughout the world – it is a drive that demands of us all that we commit, take part and make it happen.

This is why it is as important to educate boys and men about equality as it is girls and women; this is why it is important that young people are enabled to have sensible discussions about the history of gender difference and that they are encouraged to work together – in mixed gender as well as single gender groups – to seek innovative and creative solutions for the future that transcend this difference. Individually, we will make strides forward in our reflection and appreciation of gender equality; together, ultimately, we will be stronger.

International Women’s Day is such an important day as we continue to strive to make progress as a human race towards more harmonious living. Let us remember that it is a day for all of us to celebrate and commit to equality.



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