Above image: See individual images below for information.
Marked annually, March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
United Nation’s Theme
The United Nation’s theme for IWD 2021 is, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” which celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls globally in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and focuses on the role women play at the forefront of the global health crisis as health workers and caregivers, community organizers and innovators.
Prime Minister Mentions She-cession
“This year, women have helped lead our response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and have fought on the front lines of this crisis. They have put their health, and that of their loved ones, at risk to protect our community and country, and as we begin to build back better for everyone, we must defend the rights of women and girls and ensure everyone has the chance to reach their full potential,” stated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
He continued to explain that women and girls have been disproportionately affected by the consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis has created a she-cession and has threatened to roll back the hard-fought social and economic progress of all women.
For some women, the impacts of the pandemic have been far more challenging. Trudeau says this is especially true for many marginalized groups, including Indigenous, Black, and racialized women, as well as, women living with disabilities and those who are members of LGBTQ2 communities.
He noted to build a fairer and more equal Canada, we must ensure a feminist, intersectional recovery from this crisis.
From Challenge Comes Change
According to the IWD website, “A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.
“We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.”
“From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.”
Individuals and organizations are invited to send in their #ChooseToChallenge images as they share images from around the world in the lead-up to International Women’s Day 2021.
Submissions are photographs of individual or group compositions striking the #ChooseToChallenge hand-up pose to potentially be shared on the IWD website and social media feeds. All gender identities welcome.
Rear-Admiral Rebecca Patterson, Defence Champion for Women
In marking IWD 2021, it’s also an opportunity for people to focus and educate themselves on the contributions women in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence are continuously making day to day.
Rear-Admiral Rebecca Patterson, Defence Champion for Women expressed in regards to IWD, “This day is about the lasting contributions women are making to Defence. It’s about recognizing the women of the Defence Team for the integral operational role they play in support of Canadians at home and Canadian interests around the world.”
She noted, women in defence are qualified and recognized national leaders who are driving Defence goals, making the Defence Team stronger by leading operations halfway around the world or at the forefront in the deployment of vaccines in Canada in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
Women are important players in spaces that were previously inaccessible to women in Defence. Civilian women in defence hold senior appointments in finance, military intelligence, and science & technology.
CAF women are commanding NATO missions abroad, leading as Environmental Command Sergeant-Majors, and managing teams of technicians and engineers.
IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network, or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day.