In 1910, over 100 women from 17 countries attended a Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. There, they came up with a plan for a day of celebration for women. The following year, on 19 March, International Women’s Day was officially marked for the first time by over a million people in the US, Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
More than a century on, International Women’s Day is recognised by the United Nations, and is celebrated on 8 March every year. It is a time to celebrate women’s achievements. But it is also a vital for raising awareness and campaigning against the sexism that exists throughout society.
Around the world, women are victims of sexism, from being denied certain freedoms, to earning less than their male counterparts. In March 2019, the World Economic Forum estimated that it would take 108 years to close the gender pay gap.
Meanwhile, around 240 million women and girls are subjected to physical or sexual violence each year and in 2020, the pandemic and global lockdown led to a steep increase in those affected.
The International Women’s Day motto is “An equal world is an enabled world”. How will you fight sexism this week?
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- In a group, come up with a list of ways that you could sexism in your school. Present them on a poster that you could keep up in class throughout the year.
- Research a famous woman from history. Write a short biography of her, noting her achievements.
- Read the story on advertising and sexism above. Write a storyboard for your own advert that champions equality.