International Women’s Day is an annual global celebration that emphasises the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day is observed on 8 March and it marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality, as there is still a significant equality gap, hence the rally around celebrating women’s achievements and the enhanced call for equal rights.

We live in a challenging world where there is a heightened need for individual responsibility on a daily basis regarding our own thoughts and actions. Although everyone reserves the right to hold their own beliefs, we all can choose to take a stand against gender bias and inequality and celebrate women’s achievements as a collective to ensure we are creators of an inclusive world.

There is no one that is solely responsible for International Women’s Day and as such, the day requires collective action from everyone that cares about human rights. According to Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist, and activist “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, nor to any one organisation, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”  

There’s no place for complacency and the 8th of March should not be the only time we raise our voices to support women’s rights, speak out against domestic violence, rape, workplace inequality, societal gender parity, and several other injustices that women experience on a daily basis. It is our responsibility to choose to challenge the status quo, support parity, and defend women’s rights whenever we see them being violated. 

There’s urgent work to do – and we need to start now.

By Ellen-Janet Adelakin

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