Unless you have been living under a tempurung (coconut husk), you would have seen at least one advertisement or Instagram post about International Women’s Day. To make things easy, we’ve come up with a short list of everything you need to know about this day.

1. When is International Women’s Day?

This year, International Women’s Day falls on the Sunday, 8th of March. It is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements while calling for gender equality.

The day is not affiliated with any one group. In some countries, International Women’s Day is marked with multiple events like performances, talks and rallies, while elsewhere, it is ignored completely.

ADVERTISEMENT

2. What is the theme?

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual. This is in hopes of recognising all of the actions we can take as individuals to challenge stereotypes, fight prejudice and celebrate women’s achievements.

UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women has expanded on this issue to create their theme this year, I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.

3. Do we still need to celebrate International Women’s Day?

The short answer to this question is HELL YES. It may be 2020, but the world is still very far from gender equality. A pay gap persists across the globe. Let us put things into perspective for you. In 2019, women in Britain effectively worked “for free” from November 14 until the end of the year because of the gender pay gap.

women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Even the recent turmoil of Malaysian politics, how many women were really involved? None.

Figures show that globally, women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men. And let’s not even get started on how sexual harassment allegation fare in our part of the world.

4. What’s happening in Malaysia?

Malaysia will be celebrating International Women’s Day with the Women’s March Malaysia. The organisers have outlined seven demands for the government.

View this post on Instagram

✊?✊?✊?✊?✊?✊?✊? #WomensMarchMY #WomensMarchMY2020

A post shared by Rape Watchdog (@rapewatchdog) on

The march will begin at Sogo, Kuala Lumpur at 10.00am on the 8th of March. Look up the hashtag #WomensMarchMY for more events taking place this weekend.

5. Why is every business doing something for International Women’s Day?

Well, it is only natural for businesses to want to jump on the bandwagon when there is a day like this. Just like any other day of celebration, this one is commercialised to no extent. But there are some who remain genuine in doing this. What can you do as a consumer? Be smart about the International Women’s Day offers you take up.

Does the business really want to do better for women? Are they already doing something to help women in need? Is the money you pay being channeled to achieving what International Women’s Day stands for? If your answer to these questions is a mere shrug, then perhaps it is time to question why you are supporting this International Women’s Day ‘offer’.

For more information on International Women’s Day in Malaysia, click here.