Every year International Women’s Day (8th March) celebrates the achievement of women, raises awareness of biases, and takes action for equality. The reason it is celebrated globally is with the aim to imagine a world that is truly gender-equal: diverse, equitable, and inclusive. 2 All of which are integral to LessonWise’s values.
We believe that gender equality starts from education. And so, we facilitate the opportunity for girls and women from around the globe, to access equitable private on-demand education. We do this by not only allowing students to acquire valuable knowledge and skills through our dedicated live group courses, but also enabling female educators to use LessonWise as a vehicle to monetise that knowledge.
The theme of ‘gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow,’ focuses on bringing women to the forefront of the fight for sustainability. By ‘sustainable’ we mean, “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”3
Women have been found to be more vulnerable to climate change, since they represent the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on scarce natural resources4. Yet, they also have the power to become powerful leaders and change-makers. And this is what this year's International Women’s Day is focusing on.
How can parents and schools take part?
First of all, having an open conversation about gender equality is the perfect place to start. This might be tricky with younger children but there are loads of resources out there to support you:
What can I do to help my children understand gender equality and International Women’s Day?
There is currently a huge push in research about sustainability and gender equality in education. It has been suggested that in order for us to live in a sustainable world, we need to ensure that women and men have the same rights and experiences. This starts as children.
- Ridding gender norms in your classroom or household is highly recommended. No more blue toys for boys and pink toys for girls, for example (not that I’m suggesting you do that!). Modelling the behaviour and values you expect from your children is one of the best things you can do.
- Recognising women leaders and their roles in shaping a sustainable world. In education, there’s a tendency to lean more towards male leaders and change-makers. A conscious effort needs to be taken to make this equal and provide children from all backgrounds with role models.
- Circle-times are a lovely way to discuss difficult topics such as sustainability and equality of all types. Opening that conversation up and allowing children to develop their own opinions and values, and reflect upon these, goes a long way.
International Women’s Day serves to remind us of the biases that exist and that it is down to us, as people who are shaping the next generation, to make change for the better.