International Women’s Day is celebrated this week and it’s the most important one yet. We say that because it feels like the voices calling for equality are louder than ever, and so it’s imperative to take the momentum that exists and call for change now.
International Women’s Day is recognized on Thursday, March 8, and the United Nations’ theme this year is ‘Time is Now,’ recognizing the activism that is changing women’s lives and the activism that is still needed.
Something has changed since this time last year. The Me Too and Time’s Up movements resonated and empowered women to speak up and forced people to listen. Women who have been abused and who have faced inequality are being believed. It’s sent a message that women don’t have to accept unacceptable treatment.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN under-secretary-general, said in a statement that the “gathering of strength among women” that is happening right now has to be a tipping point.
“The feminist movement must continue to increase the diversity and the number of people working on gender equality,” she said.
Change might be a slow process in a lot of places, but here, it doesn’t have to be, not in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, in 2018, especially when it concerns such a fundamental right.
Of course we’ve all valued equality, always – it’s just that we might not have spent enough time thinking about what that means. Well, women are telling us. Across the province and around the world, women are marching. So are those who support, love, value and respect women, which is to say reasonable people.
This week, we might consider supporting causes such as the Vernon Women’s Transition House Society or any of the various local agencies that work to support and empower women.
That should come alongside a commitment to modern attitudes about gender equality and women’s rights. There will be times when we see injustice, and we should speak out against it, in our day-to-day lives, and particularly on International Women’s Day.