At the current rate, it will be 117 years before we see gender parity and this year’s International Women’s Day seeks to shorten that time by asking everyone to celebrate the ‘social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women’ and raise awareness or pledge to take urgent action because ‘progress has slowed in many places across the world’ or preferably both.
Looking at the mechanics of this with my fundraiser’s perspective, I was rather disappointed not to be able to choose to pledge in each of the offered areas. Perhaps things would move quicker if we did, or maybe that would just be a box ticking exercise and nothing would get done.
Fortunately, the site immediately gave me the opportunity to run my own #pledgeforparity and to share on social media. However, it didn’t ask for a donation as I was expecting – though I was given the chance to champion the pledge in my own organisation, which I will do. It also asked me to put the widget on my website – which seems a bit scary as it doesn’t say what it does, though it probably just asks people to pledge. Oh, and I can print out a #pledgeforparity selfie card, which I have just done. Presumably I hold it up and take a selfie. Not sure I’m going to do that…
I’m still waiting for the fundraising ask to kick in (like the brilliant fundraising at change.org or avaaz.org), now I have given my email address; but maybe that’s just slacktivist thinking and throwing money at the problem is not what the organisers are after. Hmm I would have welcomed the chance to give.
The site does give a huge amount of useful links for those who want to take action, which is a really good thing as so often these calls to action are just vague, and following through is left to people’s own pretty feeble ideas.
Did you know that the first Women’s day was held in New York on 28th February 1909 and was a socialist event? It is now a day designated by the United Nations and should have a political and human rights theme, though in many countries is has slid into being merely a rather bland cross between Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day; without the empowering focus on women’s achievements in the social, political, cultural and economic spheres – indeed it started as International Working Women’s Day.
So this year, let’s not just hope, but pledge to take action for parity to arrive a lot quicker than 117 years when not a lot of us will be around to enjoy it.