The decision to take a photo of all the women at the Neos Kosmos office ahead of International Women’s Day (IWD) prompted all manner of reactions.
Clearly, it’s a day that means many things to different people (of both genders). Some lump it with Valentine’s Day, and state that the existence of such a day negates the struggle for equality. “What about men’s day?” said one colleague, and another looked at the Instagram photo and commented on the looks of the “ethereal beings” that walk among us in our office.
And with so many different viewpoints as to what the day is all about, so many interpretations of what it means to be a woman and the different ways in which we engage in women’s liberation, there are many challenges that need to be overcome before we can meet the lofty ideals of this year’s slogan #EachforEqual.
In a new UN report released on Thursday, at least 90 per cent of men and women interviewed in 75 countries were found to hold some sort of bias against females. Globally, close to 50 per cent of men said they had more right to a job than women, and a third of respondents found it acceptable for men to hit their partners.
Clearly, though we’ve achieved small victories, step by step, from voting, inheriting property and the right to work, there are still many inequalities. In Melbourne, Labour Day is celebrated one day after International Women’s Day and that is apt bearing in mind that both women and workers (and more so women workers!) have had to fight for their human rights and all the values that we now take for granted.