Social justice movements have been working for generations to promote equality and decrease gender-related disparities.  Changes in the wage gap (in the U.S. and globally) and other issues have been moving at a very slow rate in recent years – so slow, in fact, that it would take an estimated 118 years for the world to close the economic gap completely.  This is almost 40 years longer than the World Economic Forum initially predicted in 2014.

But let’s not allow this to dampen spirits or efforts – the future is not written in stone!  This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “Pledge for Parity” and encourages individuals from around the world to challenge harmful norms however they can.  NJCASA believes fostering innovative community-based social change efforts, as well as elevating the voices of survivors and organizations, will bring us closer to the world this year’s campaign envisions.

We took a look at how we can continue to challenge biases about gender as part of the Pledge for Parity:  

  • Critical media literacy education assists individuals and communities in pushing back against long-held beliefs and preconceptions. Exploitation and objectification, often seen and perpetuated in our media, reinforce harmful patterns for all genders.
  • Taking prosocial action and educating others on bystander intervention help draw attention to behaviors and attitudes considered “normal” in society. When someone interrupts a “joke,” comment, or action, they ask us to check our own biases and acceptance of these norms.
  • Advocating for legislation and organizational policies that promote perpetrator accountability and survivor autonomy. “Begin by believing” dares us to ignore society’s inclination to blame the victim – no matter who that victim may be – and create spaces where individuals are supported and empowered.

How else can we promote equality and work toward a world free to oppression?  Share your thoughts and pledge ideas and celebrate International Women’s Day on social media using #IWD2016 and #PledgeforParity.