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March 7, 2017

#BeBoldForChange this International Women’s Day.


“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin

 

March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD). This year, the movement organizers are asking us to support is #BeBoldForChange.

The campaign is promoting a pledge and attitude we can all join in on (found on the IWD website). It is an oath where we agree to “challenge bias and inequality, campaign against violence, forge women’s advancement, celebrate women’s achievement, and champion women’s education.”

Last year the movement that the IWD promoted was #PledgeForParity Campaign. Parity meaning…”the state or condition of being equal, especially regarding status or pay.”

Unfortunately last year that movement by the IWD was not altogether successfully achieved, and since 2016, women’s rights have actually decreased.

It was recently reported by the World Economic Forum that gender equality will not be achieved before 2186.

Who is with me in thinking that is way too long to wait?

What if we were all given equal value now? What if every gender had the same access to a good wage, mutual respect, safety, and the opportunity for advancement solely based on how hard we were willing to work and promote ourselves in the world?

Some people think that women already have this. They think a woman, or someone who does not identify themselves as male, has just as many rights as people labelled as male. However, this is absolutely not the case, not even in the western world.

Sexism is a sad fact, and something I too face on a daily basis.

I choose the label “woman” not because I have to, but because that description feels correct for me. The crazy thing about this title though, is that by taking it on, I immediately diminish my salary to 74% of what I could make as a man (stated in a recent report by statistics Canada posted in the “Globe and Mail”).

I take approximately an extra 50% chance of being sexually coerced or raped, and my chances of post-separation violence increases by 93%. Not to mention that on an average day, I am looked upon as less competent. I am subject to being cat-called, and treated as an object. I am seen as disposable by employers due to my ability to bare children, and taken for granted that I will be kind instead of assertive during confrontation.

As a woman, I know I have had to fight harder for things, but fortunately it seems that the collective is now becoming a little more willing to back us. But, we can still do a better job.

It is no longer just women supporting women. It is non-binary people too. And even some men have joined forces to support our equal rights as well. As a united world, many of us are realizing that having empowered, successful and unharmed women in it, will be a gift to us all.

However, there is a still a very real struggle in having a female identity. This occurs because of our outdated view of who and what we give value to. A woman is still seen as weaker, less competent, overly emotional, and not as able to make discerning decisions as well as her counterparts.

These beliefs are incorrect, but because they are held at our core due to patterns of socialization, the victimization of women still commonly occurs on subtle, and not so subtle platforms… and we allow it.

“We have to look at how we are socially programmed to use gender as a status marker and as an excellence marker—a female means not as high quality.”  ~ Sarah Kaplan, Professor of Strategic Management at University of Toronto

So, that is why this years IWD campaign is so important to join.

We must be bold now my friends, and go beyond what we have done to support gender equality before. We need to change how we see women, and perspective, I believe, is the most powerful tool for rising up that we can wield.

When we change our views as a collective, we alter the world.

It is time to unleash and promote the advancement of women, for we do not need to support the creating of second-class citizens any longer. Mutual respect is earned, and females have garnered this right. We have worked hard for our place in today’s society, and we deserve everyones help now to keep it, and to elevate us even further.

#BeBoldForChange my friends, and be another human who is consciously choosing to improve the status quo. Right now, this planet needs to be equally held by us all.

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Author: Sarah Norad 

Image: Wikipedia

Editor: Deb Jarrett

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