International Women's Day

International Women’s Day 2020

This Sunday sees International Women’s Day 2020 and what a shame it falls on a Sunday. OK, I do understand that it’s always on the 8th March, but wouldn’t it be lovely if schools and employers were able to recognise it ON the day and to drive home the message of equality?

It’s all too easy to ignore it or focus on something else, especially in the current fervour around Corona Virus (Covid-19). It seems like a missed opportunity to me.

I was surprised to see that the first International Women’s Day was back in 1911. I was also a little disappointed to see that the UK was rather behind the curve in adopting the day and in recognising women’s rights in general.

According to the International Women’s Day website (internationalwomensday.com):

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.”

I’m a strong supporter of equal rights and opportunities. As the father of two young daughters, I don’t want this issue to be something they have to give a thought to as they grow into strong women.

As a tutor, I see boys and girls from all walks of life most days of the week. It’s heartening to see that most girls, like their male counterparts, seem not to give thought to them and us. They simply play what’s in front of them, to use a sporting analogy.

It’s no secret that girls have seen increased academic success, and in some areas leave boys trailing far behind. I’ve personally witnessed a growth in confidence, ability and ambition in recent times, which is wonderful to see.

What remains to be seen is if this prowess within academia can be translated into career success and more women in boardrooms.

My hope is that in the very near future, we can celebrate women for who they are, what they do and their unique and marvellous traits. That seems much more fitting than what should be mundane equality. One could argue that the true sign of equality is when days such as IWD are unnecessary because we are treated the same, regardless of gender, creed, etc.

I encourage my daughters to be themselves, to set their sights high and to aim for the stars. As they continue to be a force of nature, I pity the glass ceiling that attempts to stand in their way!

Muhammad.