Every day is a celebration of one issue, group or another. Take Thursday, when we celebrated both World Book Day and International School Meals Day. Most days pass by, and while some will be making the most of a special day, it’s a normal day for the rest of us.
But today, well, today is a day for celebrating and raising awareness of women’s issues around the globe. It’s a day to do something for women at home and abroad who need a voice.
Feminism and equality is a tough topic. It makes some roll their eyes, while for others it’s their life. As important as the blood in their veins.
While in many parts of the world women can’t vote, can’t go to school, cannot drive and can’t even expose their skin, the way we do when we run. Actually, that’s another freedom they don’t have.
Nearer to home, women are still battling with inequality: in pay, in opportunity, and in charging. Ever notice how advertising is largely aimed at women, and how that perfect life depicted on TV presses those maternal or femininity buttons? I guess it’s one of the reasons I love running: the attraction of a similar but different approach: the appeal of words like ‘strong’ and positive affirmations like ‘this girl can’.
Overcharging is something I’ve been aware of since I read about the French group Georgette Sands back in November. I’ve been mulling inequality in pricing over since then.
Every day, we pay more for similar goods and services than men. Next time you are shopping, check for yourself. How much do you pay for basics: shampoo, deodorant, socks? Come to think of it I probably pay more than @TheWelshWookie for running vests and trainers too.
Having said all that, we are in the enviable position of having the choice to purchase these goods. The issue of how poverty affects women is much, much more important. To celebrate IWD, the global charity One is highlighting how poverty is sexist, and affects women much more than men- it clearly shows the ultimate effects of inequality. The importance of empowering women to provide for their families through education, training and support is critical.
This is also the theme of SCIAF’s 50th anniversary campaign this year: ensuring that women farmers have the right tools and employ traditional sustainable farming techniques is much more likely to enable this generation to have hope, and future generations to have prosperity. You can read about one of these farmers, Mary Jackson, here.
During their 50th Anniversary, energy pound given to SCIAF is being fund matched, pound for pound, by the Government.
If you do one thing on International Women’s Day, perhaps it could be to stand shoulder to shoulder by supporting those who would be most likely to share their last with you. To me, that’s sisterhood in action.