March 8th marks the 2018 International Women’s Day, a day that has been observed and celebrated for over 100 years. The first was in 1911, started by the suffragettes and now the momentous day is marked all over the world. First celebrated on March 8th since 1913, the day was recognised by the United Nations in 1975, which each year taking on a theme.
This year, the day is even more prominent. It’s not only the centenary of the suffragette movement, but social media campaigns such as #MeToo and #TimesUp have raised mainstream awareness of exclusion, disparity, harassment and abuse. Last year also saw women’s rights dominating the news headlines, with allegations of sexual misconduct against prominent men in power, including Harvey Weinstein, spreading through different sectors. The abuse and harassment that had been kept quiet for too long for decades, even centuries, have been called out in high-profile sectors from film to fashion to music to politics to art.
The theme for this year’s IWD is #PushForProgress with an emphasis on pushing forward and progressing gender parity. Like last year, we wanted to bring together people to speak on this year’s theme and answer one question; “How would you like to see things progress for women in the next 12 months?”. While talking on the above issues should never be regulated to just one day, #IWD2018 provides a platform to speak up, be noticed and be proud.
FFSWHYTHOUGH – Rapper/MC
“In the next 12 months I firmly believe it is the time of the WOMAN!! Most industries are male dominated, especially here in the music scene. I’m so glad I’m seeing fellas in the game supporting women to come forward. I know myself a few chicks that are actually better rappers/MC than guys!! So they’re definitely coming. I’m definitely coming. WE are definitely coming. No Spice Girls and that yeah but #GirlPower”
Dobby – DJ/Radio Presenter
“I would say I would like to see things progress for us women by the world actually valuing us. Valuing our opinions, our insights, our knowledge, our spirit, our strength, our talents and our entire sense of being. The way we do this is just by normalising all women across the board and yes I am talking about Women of Colour, LGBTQ+ Women, non binary folk, disabled women, working class women, fat women, all the different intersects of women”.
“If we start by doing these basic things, I believe it’ll slowly but surely bring the progress that is so desperately needed”.
Shaé – Music Artist
“In the next 12 months I would love to see more women at the forefront of their respective fields. I also hope women come closer to being respected in the creative industry & not just ‘rated’. In a years time I desire for women to generally be taken more seriously with their crafts, particularly women of colour as we’ve been suuuper slept on for the longest”.
RoxXxan – Musician
“I think its important for women to continue to be respected for their choices. Freedom of choice is very important to me. Choose how you want to look, live and feel and be respected for that. The freedom to live your life how you want and to be supported, at home, at work and in the community. I think society is changing constantly, peoples eyes are opening more and more and you only have to look at the response ‘Suffragettes’ has been getting to see that history is so relevant, never forget where we have come from as women, the challenges we have always faced”.
“Things that today seem impossible to believe were real life for women as little as 50 years ago. I hope that in the future, women look back on the struggles of today and think wow, we have come so far – look at us now!”
Hamda – Creative & Music Journalist
“I’m a true optimist, so I expect to witness more women winning over the next 12 months. Lately we’ve seen these amazing, talented and beautiful women like Maya Jama, Letitia Wright and Chidera Eggerue turn into real success stories. Even if they don’t see themselves as role models, I hope a generation of little girls growing up will see a part of themselves in these women and find inspiration through that. A will to be great and do great things. And even just on a personal level, I want to see all my girlfriends win and thrive”.
Trillary Banks – Rapper
“I would like to see more support from the radio stations, publications and tastemakers for Female artists, it feels like we have to do so much more than our male counterparts before we are taken seriously. I want to help empower women and let them know we too can thrive in the music industry and have ownership”.
“Everything I have been told I can’t do, I have overcome and I’m hoping there’s more women forcing down these doors of opportunity over the next year”.
Wardah Sempa – Online Editor
“I feel like women in general are doing amazing right now, whether you’re an artist, journalist, entrepreneur, have a 9-5. It makes me happy knowing that women are paving the way and working extremely hard for the next generation. It’s only going to get better”.
Olivia Louise – Singer/Songwriter
“The change that I would like to see over the next 12 months, is for society as a whole to broaden their understanding of ‘woman hood’. In the fight for gender equality, many women’s voices are lost or not enabled a platform. Understanding that woman hood is a spectrum that encompasses disabled women, trans women, women of colour, neurodiverse women, fat women—ALL those that identity as women is vital in creating intersectional and inclusive spaces, opportunities and developments for women with regards to gender parity. Where we fail one women, we fail all women”.
“Next year, I would like to see the voices of the most marginalised women elevated, and those who hold positions of power and privilege to support and stand by the side of these women—not in front of them”.
Make International Womens Day today count and share your advise with us on Twitter using the hashtag #IWD2018