The theme for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2016 is “Pledge for Parity.” When I think of parity, specifically equality for women in modern terms, I don’t think of the stay-at-home-Mom issue, voting, or even salary/workplace equality. What strikes me about the equality issue now is individuality: being valued and respected as equals because we are human beings. I believe that all people deserve the same respect because they are members of the same species!
We don’t hear as much anymore about the struggle for gender equality between men and women. With women running for President of the United States and making waves in all facets of the global economy, gender may be insignificant to parity in the future. Most people are no longer shocked at non-traditional gender identity, just as they became increasingly accepting of non-traditional self-expression such as tattoos, facial jewelry or brightly colored hair. What are more important than gender or appearance are our values, our character, our interpersonal relationships, our contributions, our self-esteem and our mental health.
Many women in 2016 are strong individuals. We are flexible, resilient, and compassionate. We are a great mix of feminine and indestructible! We have a voice and we are leaders. Yet many women struggle with poor self-esteem, fears or anxiety. In the pledge for parity, I would like to see all women have the opportunity to feel strong, feel confident, and feel good about who they are and what they are capable of.
If you pledge for parity on March 8th, take a look beside you and see who may be struggling and who may need encouragement. We as women can help each other follow a path toward feeling equal, although as humans, we already are.