International Women’s Day on March 08, 2018 – Breaking new ground together
On March eighth, it’s that time again, the “United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and World Peace” or also called “International Women’s Day” takes place. Originating as a former women’s movement and vehemently defended and enforced by courageous women like Rosa Luxemburg and Clara Zetkin, this day and its meaning is a great achievement for women as well as girls worldwide.
These call globally to remember their difficult situation and advocate for a change in it.
Alongside well-known feminists such as Alice Schwarzer and Simone de Beauvoir, the women’s rights movement has received a breath of fresh air since Emma Watson was appointed UN Special Envoy for Women’s and Girls’ Rights in June 2014. Her campaign “HeForShe” is now internationally known and receives the greatest recognition from politics and society.
In this context, the accusation is often made that the initiative to stand up for the rights of women and girls is increasingly turning into a trend or hype.
Equality as a promotional activity:
This accusation is not entirely unfounded, because of course it is important to protect the rights of women and girls and to support them on their way to more equality in an honest and well-intentioned way. However, the reality often looks different:
Whether actors, politicians or entrepreneurs, supporting women’s rights movements and speaking out in public for more equality has been “en vogue” for some years now. Of course, this is beneficial for one’s own reputation and that of the company. It is also ubiquitously known that the advertising industry makes a killing by using equality as an advertising slogan in their campaigns. Often the opposite is proclaimed, so that women are deliberately positioned in a sexist way in order to trigger a discussion.
If you speak out against such advertising measures and rage against the slogan “sex sells,” you are readily accused of being a feminist. The fact that this negative connotation associated with the term “feminism” is difficult to eradicate is here rooted in the movement itself. Like other peaceful movements, it has difficulty protecting itself from infiltration by radical forces.
HeForShe – Solidarity movement for gender equality
Days such as March 8 or Equal Pay Day on March 20 provide an opportunity to clarify misunderstandings, point out unequal conditions and stand up together for the right cause.
Advertising measures, targeted statements on the part of politics and business, or radical statements under the guise of feminism, do not count on such days.
Emma Watson does it right in this case: Unimpressed by derisive comments regarding her professional commitment as an actress or in the face of accusations that she would only stage herself through her position as a special ambassador of the UN, she calls for a worldwide campaign.
It warns – It reminds – It obliges and that is exactly what we should do. Our past or our private lives are not relevant to fight for more equal rights for women and men. What counts is our conviction and our courage to stand up for it.
Change through teamwork
With my blog I personally try to go exactly this way. Not only by exposing inequality, grievances or even mistakes, especially in the area of “studies and career”, but also by providing targeted assistance and tips on how such can be prevented. I would like to educate my readers about the topics of “gender, dieversity, equality and integration” and show that one can approach them with an open mind.
Not with a raised finger against men, but with an explicit invitation to them to join the discourse on equality.
Alone, we women can change ourselves, become stronger, gain more self-confidence and stand up for ourselves and our rights. But only as a team, together with other women and men, can we make a difference.
- What do you think of Emma Watson’s “HeForShe” campaign?
- Do you also advocate for more equal rights for women and men, and if so, how and why?
- What events do you know about or have you even personally attended that explicitly advocate for more rights for women and girls or gender equality?
About the author
Kinga Bartczak berät, coacht und schreibt zu Female Empowerment, neuer Arbeitskultur, Organisationsentwicklung systemischen Coaching, und Personal Branding.
Zudem ist sie Geschäftsführerin der UnternehmerRebellen GmbH und Herausgeberin des FemalExperts Magazins.