Happy International Women’s Day!
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is Embrace Equity.
Written by Lucy Jenkins.
This theme aims to highlight the distinction between equity and equality; two words that are often incorrectly used interchangeably despite being separate concepts. If equality is understood as meaning blanket treatment or resources for everyone, then equity is the allocation of exact resources specific to the needs of each individual or people group.
Equity is the means by which equality is achieved- a movement towards true inclusion through its consideration of intersecting variables.
2022 saw various incidences of women’s rights regression worldwide. Against the backdrop of our recovery from the pandemic years, where women carried the majority of the burden of care. From the onset of the war in Ukraine, to the heavy restrictions imposed by the Taliban in their developing occupation of Afghanistan, such as the ban on secondary education for girls. Looking to the political West, we watched the US overturn the symbolic Roe V Wade legislation that reshaped the perception of abortion, in what had been a globally influential move. We also saw the cancerous rise of Andrew Tate, who targeted young people in his crusade to repopularise open misogyny. Closer to home, the UK performed the worst of all the G7 countries in terms of gender equality progression.
Equity is therefore an aptly selected theme for this year’s International Women’s day. We must take a more direct and precise approach in affecting change, as all women face unique challenges depending on their location, ethnicity, economic power, access to education and healthcare- amongst many other intersecting variables. So we must respond accordingly, rather than implementing blanket legislation or changes that simply will not have the common desired effect worldwide.
Here at Inova, we have various projects that target the advancement of women. Such as FLY-IN specifically addressing financial literacy in Migrant women. DigiKommune, which provides a supportive and inspiring space for female creatives. The T-Shirt project, which aims to reduce gender bias in schools through training. We are also heavily invested in the topical issue of women in STEM, where women are vastly underrepresented. Reflected in our FemSTEM and MentoraSTEAM projects. Empowering women to break into the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Working in alignment with the International Women’s day missions of celebrating and elevating female creatives, and elevating and advancing gender parity in technology.
We are also very proud to have been working with the British Council in Mexico and Peru since November 2021 to build mentoring programmes supporting women in STEM. To date, these programmes have supported over 840 participants who have either trained as mentors or have been mentored through the scheme.
2022 was a year that saw a global regression of women’s rights. In this unsettling time, the importance of reflection on the progress we are making cannot be overstated. It is where we will find our strength and our solace.
“For a world where we are socially equal, humanly different and totally free” -Rosa Luxemburg
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