We’ve had a few landmark days recently.
One’s that have seen us stuff our faces with pancakes or eat whatever people eat on St. David’s Day. On March 17th we’ll all be giving ourselves an excuse to chow down on Guinnesses. But the most important date in this portion of the calendar is March 8th, International Women’s Day… so let’s tuck into things to remember this IWD.
Gender equality means more than Yorkie reframing their branding and International Women’s Day focusses on women’s issues globally. How far we have come but also, how far we have still got to go.
By Fezile Sibanda
Be an ally
Now if you read our BHM article you may know what’s coming. The biggest way to support the movement for gender equality is being an ally.
Any Tom, Dick and Sally can be an ally but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. If you see something playing out at work, on a night out or just in your day to day where you feel like a woman is being patronised, undermined or exploited, see how you can support them.
It’s always good to double-check to make sure you’ve got the right end of the stick, we don’t always want to be saved despite what countless films may portray. Challenge the people around you if they are talking about women in a demeaning way. All these small things can really lead to big changes.
Women supporting women
Girls, let’s acknowledge our differences while fighting for the same cause. We all want to be liberated but liberation means something different for each and every one of us.
Understand that we are fighting for OUR rights, OUR freedom and OUR voice, whatever those may be. Support your local girl gang and help a sister out in whatever way you can. Solidarity is the key but understand that not everyone’s experience is the same as yours…
Not all womxn are the same
Women of colour, trans women and women with disabilities are some of the most disenfranchised people in the UK (and globally). It’s important to acknowledge intersectionality and how difference can lead to other forms of oppression. Not all women are the same, we don’t all drink Echo Falls and cry to Bridget Jones (some do), so don’t treat us all the same. Ask us what we want (Echo Falls and Bridget Jones).
Support LGBTQI+ folk
In the US, the gay liberation movement was kickstarted by trans women of colour. Women have been vocal activists both in Gay and Women’s rights. We need to acknowledge trans, non-binary and gender-fluid folk this IWD as they too experience similar issues with safety, health and reproductive rights.
‘We should all be feminist’
Being a feminist doesn’t have to mean growing out body hair, burning your bra and screaming at blokes. Whatever your gender, think about the different ways that you can help day to day to move women’s rights forward.
Don’t use certain language. Respect people’s pronouns. Stand up for womxn even in situations where you feel uncomfortable. Buy tickets to female artists’ gigs. Book women for gigs. Stop making fun of women’s football. Stop asking if girls are on their period. Acknowledge that some women have periods. Don’t act like periods are gross. Talk to women.
And don’t just do these things on International Women’s Day. Chimamanda said we should all be feminists and she’s bloody right, mate.