The theme for this year's International Women's Day is #PressforProgress.
Women, the gender which inherits roughly 3.6 billion or only approximately 0.5% less than men in terms of world population of earth has faced discrimination for ages sparking recent protests such as #MeToo by Hollywood actresses coming clean about sexual harassment, assault by film producer Harvey Weinstein and the infamous Time's Up speech by Oprah Winfrey during the Golden Globes has led to an almost worldwide movement.
Subsequent star-studded media events such as the 90th Academy Awards also touched on gender discrimination towards women and racism towards African Americans.
This International Women's Day 2018, we touch on the basics and simplicity of how we can tackle discrimination and unfairness towards the fairer sex that we can all practice on a daily basis.
Other women are not our competition
Besides examining actions from men, women should look inside themselves and foster stronger ties with other women. We are our own competition, not other women or men.
Here at The Wee Marketing Agency in Singapore, here is the change we want to see.
1) Understand each other.
Instead of being judgemental, exercise understanding and empathy towards your fellow womankind. Regardless of whatever differences one may have be it race, religion or beliefs, we should always seek to understand a person beneath the surface-level because understanding another is the first barrier to break the silence or whatever perceived threat.
2) Support each other.
Help and support other women, not everything has to be a competition, especially underhandedness in order to get ahead of another. The only competition you have is yourself.
If you know another women is in need, a fellow colleague or person you meet on your way, do not hesitate to lend a helping hand. No matter is too small or big to deal with if more people recognise the need to help and support a fellow human being.
3) Love each other.
It might sound cliche at the first thought of it but just like how we love our family and friends unconditionally, we should do the same towards other women. Love encompasses a broad spectrum of positive feelings - kindness, understanding, empathy, magnanimity that we should not be afraid to show to others.
Harness the power from within: Knowledge is Empowerment
Each and every one of us holds the power to make change and constantly evolve in the hopes of becoming better. Take small steps to make this place a better world. Awareness is the beginning of any progress.
What are the issues women (still) face today?
1) Pay equality
For women to be equals with men, pay inequality in every industry has to stop. In Singapore, a woman on the board of a listed company, gets paid on average, 43% less than their male peers (NUS Business School, Mar 2017).
Women should not accept lower salaries in every potential position just to get a job. A fair negotiation should take place between the candidate and the employer.
2) Gender Discrimination
To move towards equal opportunities for women with more females in leadership position and power, discrimination has to stop. We can do so by taking action and voicing out the problem whenever we face one.
Let us put an end to gender stereotypes and societal or cultural conditioning such as women wearing pink since infancy and being perceived to be incapable of performing certain tasks or taking up specific hobs or roles in society.
3) Sexual harassment
From molestation to rape, women should stand up for themselves and support each other to prevent attacks and punish criminals and oppressors from getting away scot-free without punishment.
Fear will only perpetuate the current oppression and discrimination towards women not just in rural countries but modern cities all over the world.
Sexual harassment, abuse or assault stems from a misuse of power and warped perceptions of a weaker race or in this case a weaker gender - women.
We can all stop this if we make a conscious effort to inform ourselves and others, identify perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The Wee Marketing Agency is helmed by the author of this article Jun Wee who strongly believes in gender equality and female empowerment. We all live in a society with varying degrees of gender discrimination. It is only by how we learn how to deal with each and every situation that will determine the success of the #PressforProgress global movement. Remember, we are not alone.