Why the theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is very relevant

Why the theme for International Women's Day 2023 is very relevant

“Equality is giving everyone a shoe, equity is making sure the shoe fits” – Susan K. Gardener. Tomorrow is another International Women’s Day and this year has an important message, ‘Embrace Equity’. The symbol is a woman hugging herself.

There is a difference between equality and equity and most times women do not require equal treatment but equitable treatment, one that factors out their peculiarities e.g. pregnancy, childbirth, menstruation, menopause, and even cultural and historical factors.

While a man might not be tasked with the challenges of pregnancy, childbirth, and even postpartum care, these are challenges women grapple with and every aspect of society needs to take cognizance of that.

While it’s important for women not to be discriminated against, there must be laws that protect women’s reproductive health, and economic and social rights.

On the International Women’s Day website, the theme is explained;

“Equity and equality are inherently different concepts. Although similar, they even share the same etymology; the root word they share is aequus, meaning “even” “fair” or “equal”.”
It’s important to know and acknowledge the importance of equity.

For instance, if men and women are given the same leave opportunities without counting maternity or paternity leave, there is no equity.

They wrote further, “Gender is intersectional, and women as a group are truly diverse. Policies that benefit white women, for example, may not benefit women of color due to historical or current inequalities. A shift from gender equality to the process of gender equity is required for meaningful progress.”


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