International Women's Day 2018 encourages us to #PressforProgress

Frederick Owens
March 9, 2018

The official website of International Men's Day says, "Objectives of International Men's Day include a focus on men's and boy's health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models". This has taken the form of global marches and campaigns, including #MeToo and #TimesUp in the United States of America and their counterparts in other countries, on issues ranging from sexual harassment and femicide to equal pay and women's political representation.

The UN has been criticised for its history of appointing men in leadership positions, including 2016's push to elect the first female UN secretary-general with strong candidates including former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark in the running.

The announcement was made, appropriately, on International Women's Day (8 March).

Analysis published by the TUC on International Women's Day today (Thursday) finds that the average woman has to wait more than two months of the calendar year before she starts to get paid, compared to the average man. This has helped advance the role of women when a while ago they were not treated equally.

It also means we pay homage to the incredible women that have gone before us and brought forward women's rights, whether that's in terms of suffrage, professionally, or by changing attitudes.

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During International Women's Year in 1975 the United Nations began celebrating International Women's Day on 8th March. At this rate, the TUC calculated it will take more than 40 years to achieve pay parity between men and women.

The theme of the International Women's Day celebration of 2002 was "Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities".

It's hard to feel good about International Women's Day when the USA continues to drop in rankings on a global scale, though we can at least say that we aren't as bad as lowest-ranking countries.

It is fantastic that prominent women and, crucially, men will be attending and supporting this event and it has been overwhelming to receive such support for this event which Brightstar and Virgin Money will be hosting together in conjunction with HM Treasury.

For her part, Layla Naffa, director of Projects at Arab Women Organisation of Jordan said that "last year witnessed great progress in granting women their rights after their collective efforts which resulted in the abolishment of Article 308 and the amendment of Article 98 of the Penal Code".

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