Forty-four years ago, the United Nations proclaimed March 8th as International Women’s Day (IWD) in an effort to recognize women’s rights and celebrate the many amazing things that women all over the world have contributed to the global community. In this past year alone, we have seen an unprecedented amount of women in congressional office, female entrepreneurship rates climb higher than before in sub-Saharan Africa, the #MeToo conversation grow to a global scale, and, in Ireland, a repeal of the eighth amendment of their constitution, paving the way for legalized abortion.
This year’s campaign theme for IWD is #BalanceForBetter—a call to action to strive for gender balance in every facet of society, across national lines and cultural boundaries. While we recognize that women have come a long way, we must also acknowledge that there is still more work to be done to to achieve true gender balance, whether in the workplace, at home, or on a greater societal scale. It is also not just about meeting a diversity quota; it is also about creating a culture of belonging, inclusion, acceptance, and acknowledgment for all women of all races, ages, nationalities, and creeds.
In particular, we’d like to highlight stories of women fighting to achieve #BalanceForBetter in publishing, media, journalism and academia for IWD.
- Sarada Akkineni, Reema Gupta, and Lakshmi Nambiar, in an effort to spread awareness about the impact women have in India, published a book to celebrate fifty-one Indian women of note.
- The New York Times’ editorial board has pledged to publish more op-ed pieces by women to diversify the voices they share.
- In places like South America and Western Asia, women comprise the majority of scientists, researchers, and academics.
- New York City’s finalists for their book-of-the-year award are all penned by women, a first since the competition has begun.
- Jo Packham, creator and Editor In Chief of WWC Magazines, uses her magazines to empower women to tell their stories.
Though today is the official date for International Women’s Day, we should strive to achieve #BalanceForBetter everyday. After all, equality is not just a women’s issue—it is a social and economic imperative that requires work, protest, and recognition everyday by everyone.
Happy International Women’s Day to all—and may we continue fighting the good fight for the women who came before us, the women who stand next to us, and the women who will come after us!
Victoria Alandy is a junior at Cornell University who is pursuing a degree in Policy Analysis and Management with double minors in Business and Demography Studies. She is interested in pursuing a career in strategic communications consulting with a long term goal of working in government affairs. A Los Angeles native with a thick valley girl accent and a soft spot for foodie culture, Victoria loves to travel, write about politics, explore the Finger Lakes’ many wineries and beer gardens, and cook new recipes every week. You can find her on Twitter at @ToriAlandy_