While progress has been made for women’s equality, we should not take this for granted.
Equality needs to be inclusive of all women, which is something we must each acknowledge and work to change.
For us to work toward true equality for women, it’s vital that we recognise the individual needs of all women, and how we can best support them in obtaining and enjoying equality and respect.
This year’s International Women’s Day calls on us to Be Bold for Change.
This means standing up for equal rights of all women. Calling out discrimination when you see it. Being visible. Allowing others to be visible. And listening to other women about what it is they need to feel and be equal.
We asked a few of them what true equality for all women looks like, and this is what they had to say:
Katie Cornhill, Stonewall Trustee
“The inequalities experienced by women irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity is a manifestation of misplaced thoughts, behaviours and actions by those that impose inappropriate values on society. We must each and every one of us believe in ourselves and where we can safely do so, take positive action to evoke interest in our right to be treated as equal without exception.”
Lisa Pinney, Stonewall Trustee
"The freedom to be who you are defines equality. We need to get beyond toilets and stereotypes and embrace the strengths of being women in all our forms and glory. The more united we stand together, the more we achieve. That's feminism to me."
Jan Gooding, Stonewall Chair of Trustees
"I used to think I didn’t want my gender or sexual orientation to be an issue. I have changed my mind on that. Now I do want to be recognised as a lesbian, and valued for how that aspect of me makes me different, and brings a perspective which adds to the collective intelligence of the world."
Sophie Walker, Leader of the Women’s Equality Party
"True equality for all women means liberation for all women; the freedom to be our individual selves without oppression. Without society dictating to us how 'female' must look and sound and behave. Without governments and businesses deciding the value of 'women's work' and imposing constraints on our contribution and capacity to contribute. True equality is freedom of expression, freedom to work and freedom to love and be loved. We do this by politicising feminism again, carrying women from protest to power to make our democracy work for everyone."
Sophie Ward, Actor
"On International Women's Day we remember all the women who have fought for equality, all the rights and freedoms we have yet to achieve and our love for all the women in the world."
Sirina-Moniqie, Stonewall Young Campaigner
"I want to be respected because of, not in spite of, my characteristics, desires and what defines me as a woman.”
Val McDermid, Author
"True equality can only come when we're indifferent to difference. When those traits that are used to disparage, disadvantage and dismiss us are used only to disambiguate, as if they were a green shirt or a pink umbrella. Human variety is wonderful, but it should be valued, not used as a means for negative discrimination."
“When no woman anywhere in the world is afraid we will then experience the freedom of equality.”