International Women’s Day – and why we still need it

Be bold for change

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

At Sail, we took the opportunity to mark International Women’s Day 2017, joining the world to celebrate the achievements of women today, and in history. We created a design to women who have contributed towards the progress for equality. Among them are politicians, celebrities, sports personalities, writers, artists, musicians and presenters. Our aim was to support the underlying message of IWD, to connect and unite on a significant international day. We sent our designs to organisations and individuals whose work we admire; and to those who are contributing to influence social change, and having a positive impact on our communities.

What is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is a day to remind us of the progress we have made and still have to make, to make the world a fairer place. This year is the 106th anniversary and the theme is #BeBoldForChange.

Why do we still need International Women’s Day?
Although progress has been made, there is a long way to go. Many women around the world don’t yet have basic human rights. In many communities, women are still subject to child marriages, FGM, prostitution, slavery and violence. Amnesty International explain some significant, provoking statements to support this:

  1. Women and girls can’t get the abortions they desperately need.
  2. Girls continue to be forced into marriage.
  3. Marital rape still isn’t always considered rape.
  4. Women are being jailed for decades after suffering still-births.
  5. Survivors of forced sterilisation are still waiting for justice.
  6. Women continue to be sexually harassed in public places.

We need International Women’s Day because there are still stereotypes. Because there is still violence. We need it for equal pay, employment, education, healthcare and safety. We need it to empower and inspire our children so that they can have the same opportunities as their peers, whilst being comfortable and proud of who they are. We need it in order to make fairer societies and communities. We need it to inspire, encourage, and influence. IWD reminds us that for change and equality to continue, we need to unite, speak out, and be heard. 

As part of International Women’s Day, Sail are attending an event in Leeds, organised by the wonderful Yorkshire Ladies Links. We are looking forward to being inspired, and celebrating this significant day with others. There are many things you can do to support IWD, such as attend an event, or support a campaign. Women March London, are hosting an International Women’s Strike as part of #DayWithoutAWoman:

Feminism protest poster typogrpahy‘We unite with the International Women’s Strike on 8 March as we gather our friends, families, neighbours and coworkers and make plans to stand up for economic justice, affirmatively building community and supporting local, women and minority owned businesses. Women and our allies will act together creatively to withdraw from the corporations that harm us and find ways to support the businesses, organisations and communities that sustain us. 

The decision to strike is a deeply personal one and we respect each woman’s individual choice. We acknowledge that the most marginalised face additional risks and burdens in taking days off from working. A strike can take many forms – from a withdrawal of labour, to economic support or individual actions that show solidarity.’ #IStrikeFor

Protest poster typography
IWD is needed due to reasons (and many more) listed above. This brilliant poster sums up the irony of protesting and humours how much is left to do. You can buy it from Counter Type.

So celebrate, unite and support the road towards equality amongst communities and societies. “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” Feminist and activist Gloria Steinem.

#BeBoldForChange

Feminism symbol

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