International Women's Day 2023
International Women's Day belongs to everyone.
Imagine a gender equal world, where everyone is able to thrive and reach their potential. Imagine a world without bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world where we celebrate the diverse gifts we each bring, making us stronger together. That's the goal of International Women's Day. This year's theme is #EmbraceEquity. 'Equity isn't just a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society's DNA,' says IWD.
IWD is on 8 March 2023
The Salvation Army is proud to support this vision.
Ever since our co-founder Catherine Booth said, ‘we cannot discover anything either unnatural or immodest’ about women taking the pulpit', we have been pioneers of women in leadership. Catherine based her arguments in Scripture, recalling the women who prophesied and prayed in the early church, and turning to Galatians 3:28: ‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’
It’s easy for us in Aotearoa New Zealand to believe that gender equality is done and dusted, yet we continue to experience subtle inequities all around us. Despite championing women since our inception, women are still under-represented in Army leadership: only 10 percent of our territorial leaders are women, and only 3 of 21 generals have been women.
At the extreme end of a system that elevates men over women is the ongoing horror of domestic violence. Last year in New Zealand, police investigated around 165,000 incidents of family violence. And ‘globally, women aged 15-44 are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined,’ according to the Army’s Positional Statement on Sexism.
Yet, we also know that when women are lifted up, all of society benefits. According to UN research, ‘when women and men have equal opportunities and rights, economic growth accelerates and poverty rates drop more rapidly for everyone’.
We know you'll join us in celebrating IWD in the best way for you and your team. It doesn't have to be anything fancy! You could:
- having morning tea
- give out a small gift
- set up a photo booth and take snaps of your people doing the #embraceequity pose - make sure you share your photos with WM!
- take a moment in your Sunday service show your support for IWD and gender equity
- get an inspirational woman to speak to your corps or group
- take time out to thank important women in your life.
Resources to help you celebrate IWD
Download our free resources to show your support:
- Powerpoint image: use for your Sunday morning notices or for your digital billboard
- Social media image: show your support on your local Facebook page or other social media
- Printable flyers: Give these out or put them on seats to show that women are valued and important.
If you’re wondering why The Salvation Army believes it’s so important to lift women up, please feel free to take a deep dive with Female Heroes Are for Everyone