This year, International Women’s Day feels different. Riding on the heels of what many deemed “The Year of the Woman”, women around the globe have one loud, very clear message: the time is now. Time to change archaic laws, close gaps in pay, and fight for fundamental human rights and equality for all. In honor and celebration women everywhere, here are four ways women have been a catalyst for change in 2017:
- #MeToo and #TimesUp: A feeling expressed by millions
For years, women have experienced sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, with little to no repercussions for their perpetrators. It wasn’t until a tweet from Alyssa Milano in November of 2017 went viral that women across industries courageously began to come forward with their stories. An umbrella of solidarity for millions, their stories brought down powerful politicians, CEOs, and moguls alike, and laid the groundwork for organizations reexamine their policies and protection of women in the workplace. A movement so resounding and strong, it earned Time Magazine’s coveted Person of the Year.
- Saudi Arabia: Women start their engines
Finally, after years of human rights campaigns, protests, and arrests, the King of Saudi Arabia issued a royal decree to lift a ban which prevented Saudi Arabian women from driving. Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy which rules by Shirah law, had justified the ban for years saying it was “inappropriate” and would lead women down paths “filled with promiscuity”. Previously the only country in the world to ban women from driving, women can legally get behind the wheel in June this year.
- Iceland: Closing the wage gap
In a historic move, Iceland became the first country in the world to enforce equal pay between men and women. This legislation, which took effect on January 1, means any public or private employer with more than 25 workers must prove it is paying equal wages for work of equal value, or face daily fines until they make that pay equal. A move like shows why Iceland has topped the World Economic Forum’s gender-parity ranking for the past nine years in a row. Other countries have slowly started to follow Iceland’s example, with countries like the United Kingdom passing a law that forces companies to disclose their gendered pay gap.
- Wonder Woman: Strong-arming the box office
Shattering expectations and the status quo, Wonder Woman became the highest grossing super hero movie of all time. After decades of cultivation by DC Comics (75 years to be exact) this version of Wonder Woman was the feminist hero that women have been waiting years for. Directed by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman’s story was one of empowerment, courage, independence, and inspiration, giving little girls everywhere a female hero worth looking up to and believing in.
This International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the strength, intelligence, and resilience of women, everywhere. At Ria Denver, we’re powered and empowered by women who exhibit these traits day in and day out.