International women’s day is celebrated on the 8th of March every year. It provides us with an important opportunity to reflect on the successes achieved and the challenges faced by women.
This year’s theme is, ‘I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights’, which aligns with the United Nations Women’s new campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls.
At Aequitas we believe in harnessing the power of words and ideas for change and have worked with inspiring women for over ten years. Utilising a wide range of communications tools, we assist dynamic women in elevating their visions and promoting their voices.
Communications has a major role to play in female empowerment. The internet has changed how we share and receive information and has subsequently impacted the way women seek and achieve their emancipation.
Communications can reveal inspiring characters and stories; it has the ability to break down stereotypes and build momentum behind ideas. An impactful communications campaign can create a movement and change lives.
For example, period poverty is a social issue that affect’s women and girls only – 1 in 10 girls in the UK cannot afford to buy menstrual products. In 2017, 18-years old Amika George launched the #freeperiods campaign alongside the Pink Protest group for free menstrual products to be provided in schools. The movement included a protest outside 10 Downing Street, which gained the support of a wide array of politicians and activists, as well as an engaging social media campaign. In 2018 the UK government gave £1.5 million to address UK period poverty and in 2020, the Department of Education committed to a scheme to provide free period products in all state schools and colleges in England.
In 2019 at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, Aequitas supported Angelique Kidjo, the singer-songwriter and women’s rights advocate, to announce, alongside President Emmanuel Macron and the President of the launch of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), a pan-African initiative to bridge the $42 billion financing gap facing women in Africa. Following the announcement, Aequitas worked with the French G7 presidency and Angelique Kidjo to develop and implement a communications plan to reach out the targeted audience – female entrepreneurs across Africa.
Communications is key in the successful delivery of projects such as AFAWA. Why? Communications is a tool to raise awareness around an issue: our strategy allowed audiences across the world to learn about the financing gap that women face in Africa. Two, communications can be used a tool to raise awareness around a project. Aequitas’ messaging was crafted to reach female audiences across Africa. Lastly, communications can pressure governments and institutions to deliver on their goals.
Women rights and empowerment communication comes from different sources: inspiring politicians, activists, actors, singers, bloggers, scientists, mothers and friends. They also vary in issues: access to education, representation on boards, issues regarding equal pay or maternity leave. No matter where you are and who you are your rights matter.
The world needs more Malalas, Gretas, Jacindas, Melindas, Alexandrias, Ilhans and Michelles*. If you are aspiring to be one, or on the road to success and would like our support, get in touch.