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Explore International Women's Day 8th March 2021

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Explore International Women's Day 8th March 2021

03 March, 2021

International Women's Day 2021

When researching content for our International Women's Day blog, we came across a quote on the International Women's Day official website. It sums up the cause behind this globally celebrated event beautifully, and highlights the actions and attitudes needed to drive change and remove gender bias and inequality for good.

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let's all choose to challenge. 

How will you help forge a gender equal world? 

Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.

As we read and learn more about International Women's Day, let's collectively remember that the need to accelerate gender parity is as critical as ever, as many women around the world continue to be denied equal rights or even the right to a basic education. SDG Goal 5: Gender Equality currently has nine action points to address positive adjustments and empower women everywhere. There's still a long way to go, but we can all play our part.

About International Women's Day

Despite years of feminine outcry, it wasn't until 1911 that the day was officially marked in countries like Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. More than one million men and women campaigned for the right to work, vote, hold positions in public office and generally stand shoulder to shoulder on almost every level. From the early 1900s, civil unrest was prevalent and active voices for campaigning for change saw 15,000 women march through the streets of New Year in 1908 demanding better pay, shorter hours and the human right to vote.

On 8th March 1914, a rally was held in London to support women's suffrage but ended with the arrest of Sylvia Pankhurst - daughter of renowned political activist Emmeline Pankhurst - being arrested as she travelled to Trafalgar Square to make a speech. 

It took until 1975 for the United Nations to finally celebrate International Women's Day, followed by a 'United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace' to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

The Representation of the People Act 1918 finally allowed British and Irish women over the age of 30 to vote.

How far have we come?

While there has been a significant change in women's equality and emancipation, there is still a long way to go. Many girls around the world can't go to school, thus creating an immediate and ongoing gender gap that can't be fixed overnight, nor off the back of days like IWD, despite their public prominence and wide global reach. In fact, almost one third of girls from some of the poorest countries have never even been to school and shockingly around 12 million girls are forced to leave school each year to get married. So while women now have the right to vote, certainly in most countries but not all - and days like IWD drive 2021 critically important themes like Choose to Challenge, sadly the changes are moving with insufficient speed and are often held back by cultural differences and ideologies, money, tradition and the general bias that is still in a state of ongoing critical address.

Pupil Resources and 2021 themes

The British Council's new Girls in Education explores the issues of gender equality through a critical lens. It asks questions like: 

These reflections will encourage classroom debates and discussions and create a host of conversations that will go on to shape the way pupils think about girls in education and the premise behind days like International Women's Day.

International Women's Day also has some great Resources that will help you plan and identity a relevant theme, choose your target audience, write a speech - and even upload your selfies to show solidarity in their 2021 #ChooseToChallenge pose. You'll get the chance to have your photo published, as well as view their current #ChooseToChallenge online gallery.

Join the IWD Community!

If you would like to join the community and register for an account, click here

And to see the full line up of 2021 events, including virtual conferences and panel discussions visit International Women's Day Events.

Resources to Support Classroom Practice and a Whole School Approach

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