Every International Women's Day, organizers offer a theme so that all those celebrating may also focus together on a particular issue which concerns women around the globe. And with data from the World Economic Forum projecting that gender parity will currently not be achieved until the year 2133, promoters have decided to use 2016's International Women's Day to revive the fight for gender equality. It's important to keep in mind, though, that the path toward gender parity will continue long after March 8. So here's a guide on how to help the #PledgeForParity campaign, both on International Women's Day and on every day after.
The Gender Parity Index was designed to measure and compare male and female access to education. More broadly, "gender parity" speaks to the inequality that persists in so many areas of women's lives, and not only at school. Though bias against women is not always conscious, they often experience fewer opportunities in the workplace, as well as in social scenarios in their communities.
Make The Pledge
Because that's what this year's day of celebration is about, right? Completing the pledge takes literally less than a minute. It asks you to recognize your role in global goals, like helping girls achieve their ambitions or calling for gender-balanced leadership.
Host A #PledgeForParity Event
What's better than a party? A party for a good cause, and a party that is totally unplanned and spontaneous. International Women's Day is saying that you should do both. If a few hours really isn't enough time to plan an event at your own workplace, then don't fret. That's what the rest of the year is for.
Encourage The Women Around You
It wouldn't be hard for a girl to believe she can only achieve so much if everyone around her is expressing that sentiment. Tell the ladies both young and old in your life that education is a right and that any career field is available to them.
Open Your Company Up To More Opportunities For Women
This might mean talking to your superiors about supporting more leadership roles for women. It might also mean finding ways to create those leadership roles if you're the boss at work.
Host A Gender Parity Speaker
You don't have to swing for booking J. Law for a speech on her advocacy for closing the pay gap in Hollywood. Asking a women's equality advocate or a leader in your own community to share their personal story could be just as impactful.
Consider Running For A Public Office, Or Nominate A Female For A Leadership Role
If those folks on the town council or the public school system's board of education just haven't been living up to your expectations, then consider campaigning for the position yourself. Or maybe there is a serious gender imbalance on the council. In that case, connect with that female friend who is seriously good at speaking and understands the needs of the community, and suggest that she run.
Take A Selfie
If you're not ready to take on the aforementioned option, that's OK. Maybe politics is not your gig of choice. Taking selfies, though, is an activity of choice for just about everyone, so snap a photo and use the hashtag #PledgeForParity when sharing it on social media.
Believe That Women's Contributions Are Equal To Those Of Men
Because they are.
What's the best part of getting involved in #PledgeForParity? Even what may appear to be the smallest act can have an impact. When IWD sponsor Ernst & Young invited their employees to select one pledge related to women's advancement within the company that resonated best with them, more than 2,700 pledges were made in two months. That could mean serious progress.