International Women’s Day (8 March 2019) marks a day of pride, independence, law enforced gender pay gap reporting and shifting attitudes around equality. But sadly, that hasn’t always been the case. At the turn of the century, suffragettes were on hunger strike and being force fed in prisons for protesting their right to vote. Now ironically, the cult of politics and celebrity marks the likes of Michelle Obama and Kim Kardashian as some of the most influential and powerful decision makers on the planet, who can steer the opinions of an entire generation by uploading one Instagram post, or at the tap of a tweet.
Have women become changemakers due to the evolution in attitudes within society? Perhaps. The recent #MeToo movement has certainly become a figurehead for all that is respectful towards women and vilified any man who relates to this movement. Is this an equaliser or just another type of modern-day witch hunt? Are men now entering a vulnerable time within society, being plagued by that firm spotlight?
International Women’s Day (IWD) started in the US in 1975, but across the pond in the UK abortion was decriminalised in 1967 and in 1979 we elected our first ever female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. It was clearly a time of change, generational shifts and forward thinking.
But don’t think the men aren’t being considered on this special day, not only is the theme this year gender balance, sporting the hashtag #Balanceforbetter with the sole intention to build a gender balanced world. Therefore, we need to view 8 March as everyone’s day, not just the women of the world. This day is for women, girls, men, boys, and those who identify as non-binary. No matter what race, or sexuality you are, if you are part of today’s society it is as much your day as the person sat opposite you in the office.
International Men’s Day (IMD) is celebrated every year in November, this year it will be celebrated on November 19th, 2019, this is a day for men to celebrate what they bring to the world; to their families and show an awareness around how importance their personal wellbeing is to the community around them.
In 1999 Dr Jerome Teelucksingh instated this international celebration whilst in Trinidad and Tobago, the traditional then spread throughout the world and is now celebrated in Singapore, Australia, India, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, Haiti, Jamaica, Hungary, Malta, Ghana, Moldova, and Canada and interest in the event is increasing rapidly.
Here at 87% we represent the masses and want people to understand and maintain healthy mental health habits, we are fully immersed and supportive of this #Balanceforbetter campaign, which will hopefully encourage people worldwide to embrace their individuality and be engaged and enlightened members of the societies they live within.
Be sure to follow the campaign on twitter, searching for #IWD2019. Bring on 2019 and let’s all live more balanced and empowered futures!