International Womens Day – 8 March 2018

It was quite a year for women: 2017. Across the world there was a call to arms for respect and dignity, equality, and empowerment for women. The ‘Silence Breakers’ were no longer silent.

It was reactionary: the rhetoric of key leaders around the world stepped into the realm of regressive and oppressive views on gender equality. However, it was long overdue. The matter just hit a tipping point. It wasn’t global outcry reserved for countries where the human rights record and gender equality has been historically poor – Australia had its fair share of females speaking truth to power.

equal pay

Television presenter Lisa Wilkinson allegedly demanded equal pay to that of her male counterpart and walked from the Today Show when it was refused.

After one brave American actress made the decision to speak publicly about her experience of sexual harassment in Hollywood, prompting 83 other women to come forward, a domino effect was seen in Australia and around the world, with women empowered to address bullying and assault by powerful men.

Towards the end of last year it was announced that gender parity in the workplace will take a huge 217 years to even out.

The #MeToo movement saw thousands of women sharing their stories online and the “Silence Breakers” of 2017 were named TIME magazine’s person of the year.

Leaders around the world also demonstrated a taste for change. Gender equality was high on the agenda at the World Economic Forum gathering in January 2018, and for the first time ever all of the Co-Chairs were women, coining the phrase a ‘panel not a manel’. The forum had many gender highlights with girls education activist Malala Yousafzei speaking on the importance of educating boys in women’s equality.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai poses with her medal during the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony at the City Hall in Oslo December 10, 2014. Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, shot by the Taliban for refusing to quit school, and Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi received their Nobel Peace Prizes on Wednesday after two days of celebration honouring their work for children’s rights.

powerful activism

2017 also saw years of powerful activism and advocacy from women’s movements being recognised by leaders. In Saudi Arabia, activists could finally celebrate driving becoming legal for women, the last country to do so globally.  In Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia, an ancient law stating men could escape punishment for rape, by marrying their accuser, was repealed due to pressure from women’s groups.

The ‘fairer sex’ spent 2017 standing up and demanding their rights to fairness, equality and respect. The momentum shows no signs of slowing down for International Women’s Day 2018.

Laughing women ladiesrun Rotterdam.

gender parity

The 2018 theme for International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress, a campaign backed by EY globally. The company wants to see gender parity accelerated. Towards the end of last year it was announced that gender parity in the workplace will take a huge 217 years to even out.

Yes. You read that correctly. No equal pay for women for another 217 years. So, whilst we are making progress there is still a long way to go.

Businesses and their workforce everywhere can lead the charge on gender pay parity and equality in the workplace. Make a statement, develop a diversity and inclusion program if you don’t already have one, attend an International Women’s Day event, or donate to charity raising awareness or actively intervening to even the playing field for women and girls around the world.


Get giving for girls Good2Give is proud to have been named the official 2018 Workplace Giving Partner for
UN Women National Committee Australia.

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