Story by: Kayla Kreutzberg
Photo from: Pxhere
A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
That’s why, this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) is a rallying cry for generation equality, to act for an equal future for all.
Jensen Williams, public educator at Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis said the feminist organization really strives towards achieving gender equality, and IWD is a day to recognize the advancements that they’ve made towards gender equality, and what steps need to be taken to get them further there.
“We know that gender-based violence is rooted in gender inequality, some things such as unhealthy ideas about relationships and gender roles contribute to violence against women, and as a society many individuals have negative ideas about survivors, such as that they are to blame for what happens to them,” Williams said.
Williams said part of their work to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence means tackling all the systems that stand in the way of achieving gender equality, and to utilize IWD to empower the community to take action in their everyday lives to help them get there.
She said the organization hopes people recognize that everyone has a role to play in making their communities a place where women can have the right to live a violence free life and a life free of inequality.
Williams said it’s really important for the men and boys listening today to know that they too can play a huge role in celebrating IWD.
“And a valuable role in seeking towards being involved in the movement to achieve gender equality because that movement does require everyone’s support,” Williams said. “As we know that a world where there is gender equality is a world that’s better for everyone.”
She said this can really start with calling out harmful comments they may hear their friends making about women, participating in educational events to learn more about things such as consent, or healthy relationships, and to challenge gender stereotypes and biases.
Williams added that the organization is doing a social media campaign where they’re asking people to take photos with messages of how they’re pledging to commit to ending gender inequality today and beyond, by using the hashtag choose to challenge (#ChooseToChallenge).