Equality · women

Celebrating International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day tomorrow. It’s being happening for over 100 years. Why do we still need it? Because we still live in a world where less than 40% of countries provide equal access to education for boys and girls, and where more than 250 million women alive today were married before they were 15*.

And because we simply need to celebrate the achievements of women more, achievements that sometimes go under the radar. Did you know that over the last year:

NASA Astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch took part in the first all-women spacewalk. A similar event planned previously had to be postponed when the team realised NASA didn’t even have two spacesuits to correctly fit women.

Esther Duflo became only the second and youngest woman to win the Nobel Prize for Economics.

The first image of a black hole was made possible by scientist Katie Bouman.

Brazilian footballer Marta scored her 17th World Cup goal, making her the top scorer in tournament history for both men and women.

Sanna Marin became the world’s youngest Prime Minister at the age of 34 in Finland. She is now at the helm of a coalition of five parties, all headed by women.

Botswana, Brazil and Ecuador all undertook legal reforms to protect the human rights of the LGBTQ community.

The International Monetary Fund appointed Gita Gopinath as its chief economist, the first woman in the role.

American mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck became the first woman to win the prestigious Abel Prize.

Sub Lieutenant Shivang became the first woman pilot in the Indian Navy.

Roula Khalaf was appointed the Financial Times’ first female editor since it was founded in 1888.

And there’s plenty more. Why do we need to shout about these things? Because often, no-one else will. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the achievements of men too, it’s just that it has generally already been done by default. One day, perhaps we will all be able to celebrate each other’s achievements regardless.

And yes there is an International Men’s Day. Head over to comedian Richard Herring’s Twitter @Herring1967 where he will regularly be tweeting the date out.

For more on the unconscious bias against women and default-male thinking, read Caroline Criado Perez’s book Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men.

Remember, as Caitlin Moran says about sexism in her book How to Be A Woman, look around and if the men aren’t doing it too, then something isn’t right.


Image from Pixabay


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