In Brief

How International Women’s Day 2019 is being marked around the world

From Google doodles to strike action, women across the world are marking this year’s International Women’s Day with added urgency

International Women’s Day (IWD) takes place today, with individuals, industries and governments marking the day with celebrations and demonstrations in aid of the continuing fight for gender equality.

The day is a celebration of the “various achievements - social, economic, political, and cultural- that females have accomplished”, says Woman’s Day, “as well as steps that can be taken in order to continue to promote gender equality”.

In an interview with The Guardian last week, Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, spoke about the important role equality in the workplace has in creating a richer world economy.

“Some countries could boost the size of their economies by 35% if they abandoned discriminatory laws and took advantage of the skills women had to offer,” she said.

Last year was dubbed the “Year of the Woman”, after a record number of women were elected to the US House of Representatives. As of now there are five major female candidates running in the 2020 presidential election, the first time more than two women have run at the same time. 

Regardless of these steps forward, the fight for equality continues - a theme embodied by the events of IWD.

What is this year’s theme?

Every IWD since 1975 has had a unique theme, and this year’s is “better the balance, better the world”. The slogan emphasises the positive impact of gender equality on economies and communities on a global scale.

The campaign stresses the importance of balance as more than a women’s issue, striving for gender-balanced boardrooms, governments, media coverage, wealth, and more.

“From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Balance drives a better working world,” says the official IWD website.

The campaign is using the hashtag #BalanceforBetter to spread the message on social media.

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