The Lost Message in International Women’s Day

International Women's Day.png

International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women across the globe and across decades who continue to challenge the stereotypes against us. This year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, recognizes the work still needed to be done to move toward gender equality.

Today is more than stickers, inspirational quotes, Instagram hashtags, and tagging women to say “thank you,” under the comment section. It’s more than sales and campaigns that are aimed to bring profit and visibility to companies, but disguised as an opportunity to showcase the accomplishments of our fearless leaders in history. Today is about change, about believing women, and about action.

There is a communication block that happens when we forget why we designate days like this. In 1910, during the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, a woman named Clara Zetkin of the ‘Women’s Office’ for Germany’s Social Democratic Party proposed that there should be a set day across the world to press for Women’s demands. Women are still fighting to be seen, heard, and recognized for their critical role in society. We deserve to have equal opportunity in our careers, along with equal pay. #BalanceforBetter is about eradicating male-dominated spaces and adding women to the equation across professions, perceptions, and positions.

YUI+Company is proud to be a women-owned, women-run small business. We value the opportunity of being leaders who strive for freedom in our work and life so that we are not forced to choose between the two. Our founding principal, Ellen, is a part of the collective who saw the imbalance in opportunity to choose and decided to create a space instead. But aside from that, women deserve to fill up spaces where they have neither a presence or opportunity

I am a woman made up of multiple expressions. My female gender, black race, heterosexual orientation, and Yoruba ethnicity all interconnect to make me who I am. I am honored to be a part of a collective of resilient people, who carry various parts of themselves, who have gone before us and ahead of us, and who are strong and courageous, fighting for equal opportunity that we deserve every day. The world has moved in a positive direction towards rights and freedoms that weren’t previously given to us. Now we fight to remove ourselves beyond the status quo.

Toyin Akinwande