Women Earn Around 23% Less Than Men Globally, Gender Equality is Long Overdue

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global event that’s been taking place for over a century, celebrating women around the world for their social, economic, cultural and political achievements. It happens every year on March 8 and involves performances, talks, marches, networking events and much more.

It’s not directly associated with any one group, country or organisation. The fight for gender equality requires the collective effort of everyone who cares about human rights. To mark International Women’s Day and this year’s theme #EachforEqual, we’re celebrating the women in our organisation, here’s everything you need to know about IWD and how to get involved.

What’s the History?

International Women’s Day was started in the early 1900’s by Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women’s Office for Germany’s Social Democratic Party, first proposing the idea in 1910 at the International Conference of Working Women.

International Women’s Day was honoured for the first time, 19 March 1911, by four European countries campaigning for women’s right to work and an end to discrimination. In 1913, the date was changed to 8 March and has remained that date since, expanding to more countries each year.

It was adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 1975, which started using an annual theme in 1996; Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future.

The International Women’s Day digital presence was launched in 2001 and is today used by millions to learn and share information. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and Catalyst are International Women’s Day Charities of Choice. The website adopts an annual theme, recent ones include #BalanceforBetter, #PledgeforParity and #TheGenderAgenda.

2011 marked the 100-year centenary of International Women’s Day, President Barack Obama dedicated March 2011 to the accomplishments of women calling it Women’s History Month.

To this day, true equality has not yet been achieved and the campaign continues, supported and celebrated globally. It’s not just about one day, every day is about building an equal world.

Billion women don't have the same job opportunities as men.

%

This is the current UK gender pay gap.

The number of days women work for free in the UK because of the pay gap.

Of women around the world have experienced violence.

What Values Inform IWD?

International Women’s Day is a powerful platform for change, with values rooted in maintaining its high action and resolute ethos. It holds similar principles to that of the Suffragette movement, justice, dignity and hope, showing tenacity in fighting for the same rights and opportunities as men.

Working collaboratively continues to be vital to IWD and striving for an equal world, equality is at the core of everything the day stands for. It’s a time to show appreciation and respect for yourself and for women around the world.

It requires everyone to display empathy in understanding different perspectives, encouraging the education of women and their history. A level of forgiveness is required to be able to move forward in the pursuit of better.

What is the Theme for 2020?

The IWD campaign theme for 2020 is #EachforEqual. Gender equality is described as a necessity for both economies and communities. The theme follows the idea that as individuals, everything we do, our behaviour, mindset and actions all influence wider society. It encourages a collaborative effort to challenge stereotypes, change perceptions, celebrate and support women to create a healthier, wealthier and happier gender-equal world. The campaign doesn’t just start and end on International Women’s Day, it runs throughout the year continuing to make change happen.

The UN’s theme this year is I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights encouraging action to achieve gender equality and human rights for women and girls worldwide. The #GenerationEquality campaign is bringing everyone whatever their gender, age, ethnicity together for a gender-equal world, ending gender-based violence, promoting economic justice and feminist leadership.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, dedicated to the empowerment and advancement of women. As well as, the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

%

Parliamentary seats held by women.

Of 750 million illiterate adults are women.

%

Of primary-school-aged girls are not in school.

Years until the global pay gap will close.

Interview with Amie Broadley, Junior Social Media and Copywriter

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re putting the spotlight on the outstanding women in our organisation, their careers, their view on gender equality and how they believe the industry can do more. We’re speaking with Amie Broadley, responsible for website and social media content across the APG group, including VRC.

How did you start in the security industry and what was your first job like? 

This is my first job in the security industry and I’m still fairly new into it, I have previously worked in the charity and leisure sector. In between, I did my undergraduate and master’s degree. My first job was a lot about learning as I went along, but it gave me the opportunity to speak to a lot of different people, build experience in thinking on my feet and move with a fast pace.

What advice would you give to any woman wanting to start in this industry?

Don’t be deterred by it being regarded as a largely male-dominated industry. If you’re confident in your ability to do the job, then nothing and no one should stop you.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t compare yourself to other people, everyone is having their own experiences, on their own journey. Nothing is gained from pointing out your similarities and differences.

What does the International Women’s Day 2020 theme #EachforEqual mean to you?

I strongly believe in everyone having the same opportunities in life, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or anything that is often used to put us in a certain box. We’re all made of the same stuff.

Which woman inspires you the most and why?

I’m inspired by all women, for believing in themselves, standing up for what they believe in and not conforming to what society tells them they should be. I’m inspired by the women who came before, who are here now and who will come after.

What do you think the greatest challenge will be for the younger generation of women?

I think despite all that has already been done, there is still so much more to do. I think big brand marketing and the presence of social media will continue to breed misconceptions and stereotypes, having a significantly negative impact on women. Girls should know they can be whoever they want to be. 

What assumptions about women do you want to see change?

That women are not educated enough to take on more senior roles. That women who are mothers will not want or be capable of taking on the same job opportunities as men.

What does gender equality mean to you?

Gender equality must reach the global sphere, equal pay and rights for women and men wherever you are in the world.

Why is diversity crucial in the workplace?

I think diversity offers a lot of benefits to businesses, creating a happier, more productive environment. A commitment to diversity shows that the business understands the needs of the individual.

What recommendations would you give to businesses to create a fairer and unprejudiced industry?

Report honestly and voluntarily about your gender pay gap, implement employment policies to promote and advocate the benefits of diversity and work to close the gender pay gap, so men and women are paid fairly.

About VRC

VRC offers bespoke monitoring solutions because we want to protect people, property and peace of mind across the UK and Ireland. As a result of our state of the art, Remote Video Response Centre (RVRC) in Yate. VRC’s highly experienced team work night and day to ensure your people and property are protected. Our facility is an NSI Gold, Category II RVRC offering a range of services.