IWD is a day to recognise how far we’ve come, and have left to go. Back in 1911, only eight countries allowed women to vote, equal pay for equal work was unheard of – if women were allowed to work at all – and reproductive rights were non-existent.
We have come a long way. Whereas once women couldn’t vote, we’re now leading countries. While we once faced restrictions on where we worked, we’re now running corporations. In countries such as Australia we have rights our grandmothers could only have dreamed about, but we still don’t have complete equality. And the majority of the world’s women aren’t anywhere near as close to that goal as we are.
More than 100 years ago, that first march was about ending harmful workplace conditions, equal rights, equal pay, and an end to exploitation. And sadly, those aims are still relevant today.
Because the rights we have are not secure.
Progress should be linear, but it’s too often accompanied by a step back. Sometimes, even once laws and rights are established, they are ignored anyway. For example:
IWD is a once-a-year chance to remind governments, businesses and everyone else watching that women aren’t going anywhere, and we’re prepared to take action to achieve our human rights.
Because progress hasn’t been equal.
Some women feel they have not encountered discrimination or harassment, or faced systemic barriers to their success, but that’s not the experience of all women. IWD is an opportunity to acknowledge the compounded challenges faced by women of colour, women with disabilities, and queer or trans women, and stand in partnership with them.
The Happiness Habits Inc. purpose is to provide mentoring, social support, empowerment training and peer to peer support to assist vulnerable women to build on their strengths to create their best life.
Our vision is to support women to fulfil their potential and to create a world where women’s sense of self-worth, their right to have and determine choices, their right to have access to opportunities and resources, their right to have power and control over their own lives both within and outside the home, and their ability to influence the direction of social change to create a more just social and economic order is possible (as promoted by the Institute of Gender Equality).
Our values are respect, integrity, personal choice, recognition of lived experience, safety (physical, emotional and psychological) and inclusivity.
We offer suitably skilled and qualified mentors, leaders and volunteers who are valued for their contributions and care about the people they work with.
On International Women’s Day we remember that as long as one woman faces discrimination, harassment, inequality or oppression, we all do.
Because sometimes we need to remember we’re not alone.
That is the purpose of ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’. To show solidarity with all women! Help us to provide more ongoing support for vulnerable women.
IWD is a great way to get re-inspired or re-energised, or to remind ourselves there are millions of women out there standing with us, and we’re all facing – and winning – the same battles.