By Hannah Walls
News & Culture Assistant
International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the unified contributions of women to society and culture. International Women’s Day was first observed annually in 1910 as part of the women’s suffrage movement and attempts to highlight its history. In 1975, the United Nations began celebrating March 8 as International Women’s Day, and in 1977, a resolution proclaiming March 8 as International Women’s Day was officially adopted.
Since its conception, International Women’s Day has been celebrated through the lens of a variety of different themes. Last year, the campaign, #BreakTheBias, was centered around environmentalism, and the efforts of women around the world to create a more sustainable future. This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity, and is described on the website as .
Part of the key messaging of this campaign focuses on the importance of discerning between equality and equity. Equality has been a longstanding term used in many social justice circles in the past few years, but as this year’s International Women’s Day theme intends to underscore: equality is no longer enough.
Equality refers to giving everyone the same exact opportunities, while the focus of equity is about meeting people where they are with the necessary resources and opportunities to uplift them. Every single person has their own story, situation and circumstances, and that’s what this year’s theme is centered around.
According to the official International Women’s Day website, providing equality may seem inclusive, but it can actually have the opposite effect as it does not account for the unique and diverse range of situations that different people have. Celebrating equity this International Women’s Day is intended to push us towards a future free from discrimination, stereotypes and bias.
While I absolutely loved last year’s theme of environmentalism, I think this year’s theme is an important reminder of the historic barriers to nearly all facets of society that marginalized groups have been facing for years. This year is about celebrating women and female-presenting individuals from all walks of life who continue to make history every single day. It’s also about breaking down traditionally male-dominated spaces to ensure a truly inclusive future for everyone.
Equity can be embraced by anyone, anywhere– at home, at work, on social media and in any sphere of influence that we may have– and I’m excited to see the outcome of this year’s theme. For more information on this year’s theme, and embracing equity in everyday life, visit the official campaign website here. Happy International Women’s Day today and everyday!
Featured Image by Michele DuPont, KTSW Multimedia
DK on March 9, 2023
Great article! I didn’t know about the distinction between equity and equality, that’s an important perspective I’ll be sure to carry forward