As a passionate believer in gender equality and especially the need for women to be empowered to know they are equal, I have been an active participant in many IWD events. But all too often, the good intentions of such celebrations are negated by one glaring oversight – the exclusion of boys and men.
Equally so, events for grown women on this day are numerous and so often extraordinarily wonderful, but the targeted exclusion of half the population does not sit well with me – isn’t this, in fact, the very message and behaviour we’re celebrating the movement away from?
While I am a true lover of a girls’ get together, and even advocate the power of such occasions, I’m just not sure that IWD is any longer the day for it. While women still have a way to go in reaching actual equality in even the most progressive societies, such as our own, isn’t about time we also actively acknowledge the role men will need to play in this? And isn’t it absolutely essential that boys are educated about the struggles females have faced in the past and what their role is in continuing to create change for the future (domestic violence, ‘pornification’ of relationships, payscales just to name a few current issues)?