On March 8, International Women’s Day will be celebrated as a global day honoring the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equity.
The day belongs to women’s groups everywhere, and is not country, group or organization specific.
In the early 1900s, oppression and inequality were pushing women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. In 1910, at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, when Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day, she recommended that every year in every country, there should be a celebration on the same day to press for change.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is: #Embrace Equity, with the goal of starting a global conversation about why “equal opportunities are no longer enough.”
To embrace equity it is important that a full understanding of the word is reached, for while both equality and equity are important, and seem the same, they are not synonymous.
Equality is about creating the same opportunity, the same access, the same information, resources and the like, while equity takes it a step further and acknowledges that everyone does not have the same starting point by virtue of differences such as economic, educational and relational starting points.
There are some who have an advantage over others, so equity acknowledges such a situation and says that we treat people based on their individual needs, with a view to creating equal outcomes. To explain further, equality is giving everyone a shoe. Equity is giving everyone a shoe that fits.
Are Nurses in Place to Embrace?
After International Women’s Day, will nurses continue to be seen as strong role models?
International Women’s Day gives women a voice, one that should become stronger as we unite against adversity and inequality.
Let us grasp this opportunity with both hands and use it wisely.
Looking at the work environment, there are those who because of circumstances and what has been given to them in life, they have an advantage over others in the same workplace, it then invite us as we approach International Women’s Day to say:
• What about the hiring practices? To what extent do we as nurses ensure that the opportunities are visible to those who are farther away from the work force or are marginalized?
• Or we may also ask ourselves what are the advantages or power that I have, and how can I use that and leverage it to help other women who may otherwise be overlooked or ignored?
• What about policies in existence that may undermine the career of a working mother?
In 2019, the eye of the Coronavirus storm wreaked worldwide deadly destruction. Doctors and nurses from all over the country joined the efforts to fight against this epidemic.
Female nurses accounted for a greater part of the nursing support team, and were efficient in delivering care and in eventually stabilizing the pandemic.
Years have passed since the beginning of the pandemic, which is currently in its state of ebb, and the recognition of female nurses appears to have gradually disappeared.
Conclusively, it is my firmly held belief that as we take a collective look towards International Women’s Day that each and every nurse can and should embrace diversity.
It is all about responsibility to ensure that our world and our workplace is a fair, just and equitable place for all. Each one of us can actively support and embrace equity within our own sphere of influence. Actions count.
Aleuta– The struggle