Today, March 8, 2018, is International Women’s Day (IWD)! IWD is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
The IWD 2018 theme is #PressforProgress. Why? A recent study, 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, published by the World Economic Forum, shows that gender parity is over 200 years away! If that is true, there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress.
Given the increasing reports of global activism fueled by women, and movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and more – there is already a strong global momentum striving for gender parity. I believe that men and women working together can reduce the expected time to close the gender gap from 200 years to 20 to 40 years.
Since last year’s IWD, I am more encouraged by the changes that I am seeing in these United States and around the world. I am especially encouraged by changes in the middle east that include countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia. In just over three months, the ban that restricts women from driving in Saudi Arabia will be lifted! According to a royal decree, the ban has to be lifted before June 24 2018. Overturning of the ban means that women will be allowed to drive for the first time in decades.
The Power of Women: Maria Shriver writes in her new book, I’ve Been Thinking…:
The power of women has evolved in my lifetime, and in my children’s lifetimes, it will evolve even more.
May we reassure ourselves that being a woman isn’t a liability. It’s an asset. Like any asset, you must invest in it, care for it, recognize its uniqueness, and nurture it forward.
So, unlike my mother, I don’t tell my daughters, Katherine and Christina, it’s a man’s world. I tell my children it’s everyone’s world. We all bring something unique to the table. And when we women sit at it, there is no doubt in my mind that it becomes a more compassionate, caring, and collaborative table.
If you’re a woman, never doubt that you belong at the table. Never doubt that you bring something to it. And never forget to save a seat for someone else.
The fight for gender equality is far from over. Until then, the march goes on!