Yesterday was international women’s day. As I drove home from meetings last night I listened to the radio phone in on BBC 5Live on the Tony Livesey show (available to listen to until March 15th link here – from 15.30mins onwards) The question, does the UK still need to have a women’s day in the 21st century. The 20 minute slot I listened to centred on the debate between a self-professed feminist who said it should happen to raise equality in the workplace , equality in opportunity and then others who argued there was no need to have a day to do that.
I noted that which was conspicuous by it’s absence in the segment I listened too, was there was no mention of celebrating women and womenhood through the international women’s day. The exchange of views centred purely on equal work conditions and opportunities, I hasten to add an important and necessary debate. My personal view is that the best person for the job should be employed regardless of sex, colour or whether they are friends with the boss.
However my point is that during the conversation the argument for having a womens day didn’t include celebrating women and the marvellous, incredible roles women play in our society.
This is not meant at all to read in a patronising manner as a man saying “oh let women have a special day”. If anyone reading does believe that to be my intention then I apologise as this is due to my inability to express myself sufficiently in print.
Despite the song this is not a man’s world, it is a world that needs man & woman working together.
There are many challenges in life and I am particulary grateful for the women in my life who have and continue to influence me. I am appreciative of the different insight and perspective that they give me.
At the end of last month, I addressed women of the church I belong to in a evening devotional, celebrating the influence women have in this world. I spoke on the enduring legacy of good that women do in this world particularly through organisations such as the Relief Society, one of the largest & longest running women’s organisations in the world.
So I would suggest yes, international womens day is worth having in the UK, it is not just about securing equal rights and opportunities in the workplace, education and society but actually about celebrating the irreplaceable, non-substitutable role of women.