Happy International Women’s Day and National Women’s Month 2023! All month we will celebrate the incredible achievements and contributions of women worldwide. And on Wednesday, March 8, International Women’s Day 2023, we will honor the strong, courageous, and inspiring women who continue to break barriers and positively impact their communities.
On this special International Women’s Day, we come together to recognize the importance of gender equality, celebrate the countless ways women have enriched our lives, and take action to reach gender equality.
What is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the progress made and look forward with hope and optimism toward a brighter and more equal future for women everywhere.
- The goals of International Women’s Day, according to the International Women’s Day website, are to:
- Celebrate women’s achievements
- Educate and raise awareness for women’s equality
- Call for positive change to advance women
- Lobby for accelerated gender parity
- Fundraise for female-focused charities
Celebrating women’s achievements
Women in the United States have come a long way since the country’s beginnings, achieving significant advancements in education, politics and the workforce. From the suffragette movement of the early 20th century to the modern-day #MeToo movement, women have worked tirelessly to gain equal rights and opportunities.
In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted women the right to vote, paving the way for women to participate in politics and take on leadership roles. Over the years, women have also made significant strides in the workforce, with more women entering traditionally male-dominated fields. While there is still work needed to achieve full gender equality, women’s progress is a testament to the power of determination, resilience and the fight for equal rights.
Here are some reasons to celebrate International Women’s Day 2023:
- 1920 – the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, is passed.
- 1963 – The Equal Pay Act is passed to end gender-based inequality, promising equal pay for equal work.
- 1964 – The government passed the Civil Rights Act to end discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin or sex.
- 1972 – The passing of Title IX, which states, “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
- 1987 – U.S. Congress designates March as Women’s History Month
- 1994 – The Violence Against Women Act is enacted, helping to combat violence against women. In 2013, the Act is reauthorized to expand coverage to lesbians, immigrants and women of Native American tribal lands who are attacked by non-tribal residents.
- 2013 – Women are allowed to serve in the military in combat positions.
Educate and raise awareness for women’s equality
International Women’s Day aims to educate and raise awareness for women’s equality. However, women still face inequality in many aspects of their lives, including education, employment, politics and society. This can take the form of unequal pay, limited opportunities for career advancement, gender-based violence and limited access to healthcare.
Discrimination against women can significantly impact a woman’s self-esteem, mental and physical health and overall well-being. Therefore, educating and raising awareness of these issues is important to ensure women have equal opportunities and are treated with dignity and respect.
Poverty risk remains higher for women
Poverty remains a higher risk for women due to various factors such as gender discrimination, unequal pay and limited access to education and healthcare.
Women still get paid less than men for equal work. The pay gap between genders has remained steady for over 20 years, and in 2022, the Pew Research Center reported that full- and part-time women earned an average of 82% of what men made for median hourly earnings.
Women also tend to have lower-paying jobs and take on more caregiving responsibilities for their children and families, limiting their ability to earn an income or pursue educational and career opportunities. In 2022, the pay gap for all ages between men and women was 18 cents.
Economic shocks such as the loss of a spouse, natural disasters or accidents can further increase a woman’s risk of poverty.
A shortage of women in leadership roles
On International Women’s Day, we aim to raise awareness of the shortage of women in leadership roles, which persists in many industries worldwide. Women remain underrepresented in senior positions across industries, and the lack of female leadership can be attributed to gender bias, discrimination and the challenge of balancing work and family responsibilities.
- 8.8 percent of Fortune 500 companies have women as CEOs and 12.5% of CFOs.
- Women represent 28% of Congress, the highest percentage in U.S. history.
- 18% of state governors are women.
Violence remains a threat to women
Women are more likely to experience gender-based violence and harassment in public and private spheres, which can limit their ability to work, study and participate fully in society. In addition, discriminatory practices such as the denial of reproductive rights and inadequate health care services affect women’s health and well-being.
One of the objectives of International Women’s Day is to highlight these issues that can further exasperate gender disparities, particularly for women from marginalized communities.
Threats against women continue to persist:
- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOC) reports that in 2020, 81,000 women and girls were killed worldwide. An intimate partner or family member was the cause of 48% of those deaths. And each year, 4.7 million American women experience physical violence by an intimate partner.
- According to a 2020 World Bank Study, 158 countries have laws against domestic violence, and 141 have passed sexual harassment laws.
- Two of every ten women 18 to 29 in the U.S. have been sexually harassed online.
- Two out of ten young American women aged 18–29 have been sexually harassed online.
Advocate for positive change to advance women
It is essential to address the root causes of the inequality, which includes promoting gender equality, investing in education and health care and providing equal access to economic and political opportunities to ensure women can reach their full potential and enjoy the same opportunities as men. These measures may include systematic changes, such as government policy action, or local-level efforts, such as mentoring.
Build workplaces where women can thrive
Improving the workplace is one area that can give women more opportunities. Advancing women in business is essential for achieving gender equality and creating a more diverse and inclusive business environment. Ultimately, promoting gender equality is not just the right thing to do but also good for business.
To achieve this, many organizations implement Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policies, which aim to hire and retain a diverse workforce and make the workplace a conducive environment for advancing diversity. For women, these policies may include measures such as offering flexible work arrangements, providing equal pay and benefits, promoting women to leadership roles or ensuring that the recruitment process is fair and transparent.
Companies can also invest in training and developing programs that address women’s unique challenges in the workplace, such as unconscious bias. By creating a more supportive and equitable work environment, companies can attract and retain top female talent and reap the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Creating a safe working environment is also one step to further advancing women in the workplace. About 23.5 million American women live alone, and with more people moving to remote work settings, ensuring the physical safety of staff is becoming more critical for employers. Regroup Mass Notification provides companies with tools to keep women more secure in their working environment.
Women can use innovations in mobile technology to feel safer at their workplaces and homes. For example, Regroup’s Panic Alerts is one solution to assure staff they are safer wherever they work. Users can easily activate and send messages when they are in distress or danger.
Fast and reliable communication can also protect women and other employees. From routine task changes, policy updates or a critical event such as a natural disaster, an emergency mass communications system can help women feel safer and empowered as part of their work team.
In addition, feeling safe to report online and sexual harassment to an employee is another way to empower women to take more control over their workspace. The Regroup Mass Notification platform allows for anonymous reporting who witness incidents of sexual harassment or assault in the workplace.
Recognizing women’s accomplishments and closing the gaps between the genders are the primary goals for acknowledging International Women’s Day 2023. Educating and raising awareness for women’s equality can help challenge the status quo and make positive changes to advance women.
Ready to see more? You can schedule a no-obligation demo of Regroup’s powerful notification system here.