Happy Women's Day and Women's heritage month to all the amazing women I know!
This past Sunday, we celebrated International Women's Day (IWD). The IWD theme for this year is "#Each for Equal". I was also attracted to the phrase "I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights" from the United Nations. When I saw the theme and slogan for the year, I started wondering what gender equality means to me and what role I can play.
In this blog post, I will share my journey and thoughts on some of the thought-provoking statements on the International Women's Day website.
Starting point: What is Gender Equality
When I think about my childhood, I am reminded that I was very fortunate to grow up around very strong Women. My mother, grandmother, aunts and cousins were all responsible for taking care of their households. And they did all that was in their power to provide for their families. Taking into consideration that Nigeria, where I spent my childhood, is a very patriarchal society. In our home, I was fortunate to grow up without the thought of being limited as a woman.
However, there were strong external factors that defined the role of a woman. In summary, the reason a woman was here on earth was to get married, have kids and care for their families. Another strong contributing factor to me believing I was strong and could do anything that I wanted to do was the Secondary school/High school that I attended. I was able to get a good foundation in my science education.
Let's fast-forward a few years. The time in my life where I really started thinking about gender equality more was when I entered the workforce. I could not understand the difference in pay. As data shows, Women earn 23% less than men globally. This is one that has been on my mind over the years of my career. Every day when I go to work, I bring my best self and do an amazing job. All I want is to be rewarded the same way. It doesn't make sense to me.
Now let's talk about our contribution to the world as women. I should probably write a longer post about this. It is very important for me to show women out there that we are equal and can do anything we want to do. I want to encourage young girls to study technical topics and explore any careers that they would like to be without being restricted. This is what I'm focused on now.
Why is it essential to have Gender Equality?
This statement on the IWD website caught my attention - "An equal world is an enabled world" . I strongly believe that as women, we have a lot to contribute to the world. To make this point stronger, the UN states that "Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large".
How can we contribute to Gender Equality?
We can all do things to make progress towards gender equality:
#1: Celebrate women's achievement
In our lives, we are surrounded by amazing women. Make it a priority to celebrate the women around you. The more we celebrate each other's contributions the more they will be seen.
#2: Raise awareness against bias
Especially in my new role, I am more aware of the bias that people have against women. When we see people apply stereotypes and biases, we can speak up. Making people aware of bias will get us closer to the world we want to live in.
#3: Take action for equality
If we want to see change, we need to be the change. I strongly believe that if we take action, we will contribute to making the world a better place.
Let's wrap up this post with quotes from amazing women
Call to Action
Celebrate your greatness!