International Women’s Day 2019
Today marks International Women’s Day – a global celebration of women and the movement towards gender equality. With the momentum of the #MeToo movement still going strong, a record number of women, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex, Jahana Hayes, Rashida Tlaib, Sharice Davids, and Veronica Escobar elected into US congress during the 2018 mid-terms and women fighting for their rights now more than ever, this International Women’s Day is even more special and important.
This year’s theme, #BalanceForBetter, however goes a step further and calls for a more gender-balanced world. Living in the Western world, where women are given the freedom to be very vocal about their entitlement to equality, it is difficult at times to remember that this is not the case worldwide.
In light of this year’s theme, several organisations in the Middle East are marking the importance of International Women’s Day in their respective countries. For example, the Arab Women’s Organisation of Jordan (AWO) held a conference on the 6th of March to bring awareness to issues related to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The conference especially shed light on issues related to labour laws in the context of women’s right and the social protection of women and girls.
Similarly, the Palestinian Business Women’s Association (PBWA) launched a campaign titled, ‘My Rights, Our Power!’. The campaign was a one-week event supported by over 30 national and international partners from civic and social organisations, to promote women’s rights in the Palestinian territories.
A significant number of organisations have banded together to show their support for the empowerment of women in the Middle East where equal rights remain a behind the standard expected in the West. Below are organisations that fighting to make a change, so that the women’s rights are felt worldwide and no longer limited to a select few.
Economic Empowerment for Women (Israel)
The Lebanese League for Women in Business (Lebanon)
The Arab Institute for Women (Lebanon)
Lebanese Democratic Women’s Gathering (RDGL)
Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD)
Whilst changes in policy continue to occur worldwide to empower women and make society more gender equal than ever - Let’s take a look at some of the big wins for women in 2018 and 2019 so far!
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of Congress empowering fellow sexual assault survivors around the world.
Actresses came together in support of the #TimesUp movement by wearing all black for the 2018 Golden Globes.
Oprah for President! – Oprah Winphrey gave an iconic speech during her acceptance for the Cecil B. de Mille award at the Golden Globes.
Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on female drivers and amended laws so that women can now attend football matches.
Female victims bravely testified against Larry Nassar, US gymnastic doctor, who was convicted for sexually assaulting hundreds of girls.
The Women’s March in Washington, DC.
Mirai Nagasu became the first American womam to land a triple axel at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
The 2018 US mid-terms saw a historic number of women enter congress, across a range of ages, ethnicies and religious backgrounds.
Beyonce made history as the first African American woman to headline at Coachella and it was AWESOME!
New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey won a Pulitzer Prize for their work exposing Harvey Weinstein’s decades of alleged abuse in Hollywood.
Anne McClain and Christina Koch are scheduled for the first all female spacewalk in history!