With an aim to empower women and remind the world of the strength of women, every year August 26 is celebrated as Women’s Equality Day. This day marks a huge turning point in the history of women’s rights in the US as on this day in 1920, the United States gave women the right to vote, after the American constitution adopted the nineteenth amendment that prohibited the state from denying the right to vote to its citizens based on gender. This day has been observed since 1973 to mark women’s ongoing fight for equality in every aspect of life and society.
To mark the significance of this day, here we present to you the top 5 campaigns tackling women’s rights and gender inequality.
- UN’s #OrangeTheWorld Campaign
Each year, the United Nations invites people to Orange the World, in support of ending violence against women. Civil society and women’s rights organisations, governments, schools, universities, the private sector and individuals host orange-themed events, such as film screenings, exhibits, radio shows, etc – to raise awareness and get people talking.
The campaign helps share knowledge and innovations and promotes women’s and girls’ leadership.
Founded in 2016, this campaign speaks of gender-based issues and discrimination faced by women and fights to change the mindset and the lives of women in the Caribbean. The campaign started with the hashtag #LifeinLeggings in virtual spaces as a safe space for women who experienced sexual harassment and sexual assault and as the hashtag spread in the Caribbean and the diaspora, they transferred the conversations to the physical spaces. Recently in 2021, #Lifeinleggings became one of the winners of the 2021 Nelson Mandela – Graca Machel Innovation Awards.
3. Free Saudi Activists
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a long history of forcefully silencing men and women who dare to stand up to the country’s unjust laws and patriarchal gender norms. Therefore, on 15 May 2018, a few weeks before Saudi Arabia lifted a ban on women driving, authorities launched a large-scale coordinated crackdown against women human rights defenders in the kingdom. Tens of prominent WHRDs, among many others, have since been arrested. Saudi authorities targeted WHRDs who fought to lift the country’s driving ban on women, and those calling for an end to male guardianship, which requires women to get permission from a male relative to travel, marry or work. While some women’s rights activists, including Loujain al- Hathloul, who spoke against this system have been released, some remain in jail and others continue to have travel bans and asset freezes imposed against them.
4. FAIR SHARE Of Women Leaders
There’s no doubt that women are under-represented in leadership positions across several sectors including the social impact sector. FAIR SHARE of Women Leaders is an initiative established to advocate for Feminist Leadership and accelerate gender equity in the social impact sector. In 2021, this campaign hosted 8-week-long series where they explored many topics regarding Feminist Leadership, including accountability and authenticity to collective leadership and sisterhood. With the belief that “true and lasting transformation is not a matter of checking boxes, but rather the sum of small changes we live and breathe in our everyday life”, the initiative continues to make remarkable strides toward ensuring that more women are in places of leadership.
5. She Changes Climate
Women often bear a huge share of the burden of the climate change crisis. It is for this reason and many others that now more than ever, women, women’s rights activists and organisations are calling for meaningful inclusion in climate decision-making processes. Launched in 2020 #SheChangesClimate with their #5050 vision calls for greater representation of women, in all their diversity, at the top levels of all future climate delegations.
- Staff Reporter