By Morgan Mickle, Gender Specialist, WI-HER, LLC
March 8 is a date known around the globe. Celebrated in many forms, International Women’s Day (IWD) highlights the social, cultural, political, and economic achievements and contributions of women. First organized in 1911 with over a million women and men from Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, the celebration now transcends countries, groups, and organizations, and reaches people all over the world. In Benin, towns have parades and throw parties to honor women. In Colombia, women receive gifts and flowers from their loved ones with notes of appreciation. In Mozambique, communities lay flowers and hold public events filled with speeches, dances, and theater. In Paraguay, schools showcase traditional dances, sing songs, and read poetry. The world celebrates women and their diversity in many ways – this year is no exception.
#BalanceforBetter, the 2019 International Women’s Day campaign theme, challenges communities around the globe to work towards a more gender-balanced world. Striving for balance doesn’t solely impact women or girls. Rather, working towards balance supports societies where diverse voices are valued, empowered, and can contribute to making communities stronger and better equipped when faced with challenges. This is the responsibility of all of us; and collectively, we can make a difference. At WI-HER, we value the contributions of women, men, boys, girls, gender-fluid individuals, and everyone working to advance the agency, voice, and power of women and ultimately, drive momentum for more gender-equitable societies. Through our multi-sectoral work, our programs support gender integration, capacity building, and collaborative learning that enable us to better the lives of people we serve.
Working side by side with the people in the communities where we work, we promote sustainable solutions to development challenges. At the center of our work are the staff, partners, collaborators, and stakeholders that help propel this vision for a more balanced world. On International Women’s Day, we take an additional opportunity to say to all of these individuals – thank you! As part of our thanks, Dr. Taroub Harb Faramand and the WI-HER team invites you to join them in their commitments to honor women – today and throughout the year.
This year, in recognition of International Women’s Day, WI-HER commits to:
- Celebrate Women’s Advancements. WI-HER launched the first annual Salwa Harb Award which honors the legacy of Salwa Harb (1925-2015), who is the inspiration behind WI-HER, LLC. An educator, activist and philanthropist, Salwa dedicated her life to helping others and empowering women in her community. The award recognizes women and men whose efforts have advanced the empowerment of women and girls locally, regionally, or worldwide. The recipient of this year’s Salwa Harb award will be announced on March 8 through WI-HER’s Facebook page and WI-HER will make a charitable donation to a cause of the recipient’s choice.
- Promote Partnerships. With our partner University Research Company, LLC, WI-HER will host an event to highlight projects that promote gender equality, empower and/or engage women. The event aims to facilitate a knowledge exchange where project representatives can share successes and challenges in promoting gender equality. Through rich discussion, we hope to uncover ways to address challenges and help projects reach their goals. In conjunction with this event, leadership from USAID will speak about USAID’s vision for combatting discrimination; advancing gender equity, social inclusion, and reaching SDG5; and progressing towards local sustainability and self-reliant solutions.
- Raise Awareness. WI-HER will run a social media campaign during the week leading up to IWD showcasing our international partners as they discuss the importance of elevating women and share experiences from the field.
- Honor Women in the Workplace. In partner offices, WI-HER will host message stations where colleagues can write personal notes of appreciation to coworkers who make a difference in their lives and in the lives of others.
Everyone has a role to play. What will you do? Join WI-HER in celebrating this year’s #IWD2019. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter @WIHERllc. Together we can #BalanceforBetter.
WI-HER, LLC (Women Influencing Health, Education and Rule of Law) is a woman-owned small business that partners with international donors, national governments, non-governmental organizations and others to identify and implement creative solutions to complex development challenges to achieve better, healthier lives for women, men, girls, and boys. Founded by Dr. Taroub Harb Faramand in 2011, WI-HER, LLC works to integrate gender through contextualized, adaptable, and systems strengthening methods that can be seamlessly integrated into ongoing and new programs. WI-HER is committed to ensuring equal opportunities for women, men, girls, and boys, as well as all other vulnerable groups, including LGBTQI+ people.