International Women's Day | h2o | Creative Communications Ltd.
International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women's rights. Take a look at what IWD means to h2o.
IWD, International Women's Day, equal rights, women's rights, IWD2019, #balanceforbetter, balance for better,
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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

In the eyes of the movement ‘International Women’s Day’ it is believed:

“better the balance, better the world.”

We are still striving for a more gender-balanced world.

Meet some of the inspirational women & men at h2o to hear what they have to say…

Sarah, what does IWD mean to you?

“It means equality. I think women (and men) should celebrate this day with pride, happiness and in honour of every strong woman who has pushed us to be where we are today. Although there are still many hurdles to overcome we are so much further forward than we were this time 5 years ago; in the age of the Me Too Movement silenced women are finding their voices and that’s something to be proud of!

Not to be confused — this is not just a day to be celebrated and embraced by women, but men too! There are plenty of men who believe in the equality of women and I’m proud to say that I was raised by one.

One of my favourite quotes about feminism challenges the stereotype of a ‘feminist’ : “Feminism isn’t a dirty word. It does not mean you hate men, nor does it mean you hate females with nice legs and a tan… it means you believe in equality.”

Who is the most influential & woman to you & why?

I am influenced by so many strong females — My mum, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Rosa Parks, Fearne Cotton, Malala Yousafzai & Gloria Steinem…the list goes on and on.

If I had to pick one I’d choose author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In ‘We Should All be Feminists’ she wrote something which really stuck with me:

“We teach girls shame. “Close your legs. Cover yourself. We make them feel as though being born female they’re already guilty of something. And so, girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up — and this is the worst thing we do to girls — they grow up to be women who have turned pre-tense into an art form.”

― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

I am influenced by all women who challenge the stereotypes, who are strong andstand up for what they believe in!

Jon, what does IWD mean to you?

“Being honest, and I know how bad this might sound, I didn’t know there was an International Women’s Day. Realising it’s been around since 1911, reading about how and why it started has been a real eye opener.

It’s got me thinking about gender equality and everything that IWD campaigns for. So, what does IWD mean to me? Well today it’s been about discovery & learning; reading some really positive stories as well as some really shocking ones. It sparked a conversation in the office that we don’t usually have, which brought the team together and I think we’re all a bit wiser because of it. That has to be a good thing and is perhaps a reason IWD exists.”

Who is the most influential woman to you & why?

“There are four women that influenced me the most in my life. My nan, my gran, my mum and my wife. They’ve shaped and helped me become the man that I am today. I’d be less without their love, advice, knowledge, support, inspiration and encouragement.”

Shane, what does IWD mean to you?

“What International Women’s Day means to me is everyone has the same rights and opportunities as each other.”

Who is the most influential woman to you & why?

“To be honest I would have to say, my mother. As kids, she raised me and my two sisters to respect everyone and treat everyone the way you would like to be treated, regardless of gender, race or creed.

She is the type of person who just gets stuck into any kind of job (big or small) and god help anyone that says she can’t do anything as this would make her more determined!

She always used to say to us you can do and be anything you want with a little bit of elbow grease (as in hard work) you can be successful in anything. Nothing will be handed to you on a silver platter or fall in your lap.

That’s why my mother is the most influential woman to me and my sisters raising three well-rounded individuals.”

Megan, what does IWD mean to you?

“It’s definitely a time of remembrance for the struggles women have faced for centuries. It’s a miracle there is such a movement as International Women’s Day where we can celebrate women as a whole; no matter what ethnicity or class.

We need to remember children aren’t born sexist, racist, bullies, etc. — it’s how they are brought up or from their surroundings. I was brought up by loving parents who allowed my voice to be heard and nothing I ever said was suppressed. It may have been challenged but I was never told to zip it.

I believe that men and women are equal and neither more powerful than one another. We can actually be more powerful combined than distinguished as two different genders.”

Who is the most influential woman to you & why?

“I mean, I would say my mum because she is phenomenal but someone recognisable to most would be Michelle Obama.

She has stolen the hearts of many and is the face of a constant barrage of racist and sexist ridicule which is why she is loved by millions. I believe she is one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. I have just bought her autobiography, ‘Becoming,’ which I am really looking forward to reading.”

Zack, what does IWD mean to you?

“It’s positive recognition for how far we have come to creating a society of gender equality and harmony and recognising the women behind it. I’d say based on the wider world there’s still a way to go, but if we celebrate these woman and milestones then hopefully we keep moving forward, something at h2o we feel strongly about.

If I think of all the women who have really stood out, there are many, but really this is about everyone and I’d say the first woman who really has influenced me personally was my grandmother on my mother’s side.”

Who is the most influential woman to you & why?

“Daughter to the Earl of Craven.

She joined the nursing profession several years before the start of WW2. When the war started she was already a Nursing Sister. This meant that she entered the army with the rank of Captain in the Royal Alexandria Nursing corp and was stationed to the war in the desert against the Italians and Germans.

As a young boy, she told me stories of how she was stationed in a field hospital in the desert in what would be Iraq today. That she had to regularly fly in a bi-plane from the front line to the safety of the field hospital with injured soldiers strapped to the wings whilst tending to them whilst hanging out of the passenger seat “Just like the English Patient movie”. That she had seen the many horrors of war first hand and lived in harsh conditions with the constant threat of air attack. To me, she was such a strong influence, tough but with compassion and an attitude that was all about staying positive in adversity and whatever the task, rolling your sleeves up and getting on with it. Something to this day I try to honour her with by following her advice.

She is just one of the millions of women that have over the generations shaped the current world we live in and we should say a big thank you.”

Vincenza, what does IWD mean to you?

“In a country where women become Prime Ministers, equality between the sexes should no longer be a matter for discussion. Equality offers a level playing field and our tenacity proves what we can rule the world and not just a country!

The values for IWD become everyday values in the lives of women — justice, dignity, hope, equality, collaboration, tenacity, appreciation, respect, empathy and forgiveness (well sometimes!).”

Who is the most influential woman to you & why?

“A woman of influence due to her true beliefs is Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, namely Mother Teresa. Although privileged as a child, she shunned her upbringing to follow her destiny, which was deep routed within her and allowed no man or authority to stand in her way. She started the Mission of Charity — a congregation dedicated to caring for “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.”

Mother Teresa was canonised in September 2016. She would not be defeated.”

Luke, what does IWD mean to you?

“It means remembering the suffrage, struggle and fight that woman have endured throughout history in an effort to drive humanity towards equal rights for all.”

Who is the most influential woman to you & why?

“The most influential woman to me is my mum. Strong-willed and confident in who she is. I grew up learning that there should be no limit to your capabilities, regardless of gender.”

Adam, what does IWD mean to you?

“To me, the fact that we have an international women’s day means that there is still work to be done in terms of equality. That we feel that need to allocate a specific day to recognise the achievements of 50% of the population seems a bit daft. I do hope that in the near future this day isn’t needed as women have achieved true equality and their achievements are suitably appreciated with the regularity they deserve.

However, whilst an appalling 20% of women in the UK have experienced sexual assault and the toxic backlash against positive male role models in the Gilette advert, this day is depressingly important.”

Who is the most influential woman to you & why?

“Obviously, I would say my Mum as I’d like to think she did a good job raising me. But as most people don’t know Judy, I’m going to say J.K Rowling. I really admire the way that she had the perseverance and determination to go from a single mother living off government welfare to create one of the most iconic franchises in the world, overcoming rejection, poverty, personal tragedy and self-doubt along the way. The magic in her books has encouraged millions of children to read and develop a love of literature which is enough of an accolade in itself, however, she has subsequently used her influence and riches to promote worthy causes and liberal values.

She acts with the grace, morality and humour that I think most people would aspire to replicate if they were in her position. At a time when the world is seemingly more divided than ever, I really admire that she sticks to her political and social beliefs and has created a world that can unite people whether they are Gryffindors or Slytherins.”

Gemma, what does IWD mean to you?

“”IWD is a day to remember the many courageous women who fought for the freedoms and independence we have today and to reflect on the progress made. An opportunity to recognise and celebrate the contributions of women in society. I believe in supporting and encouraging other women to achieve and succeed.

Who is the most influential woman to you & why?

“Empowered women empower women”. I’m proud to be part of a family of strong women / positive role models whom which I aspire to follow by their example.”

Iain, what does IWD mean to you?

“Promoting and championing the causes of women everywhere. Promoting equality in all aspects of professional and personal lives. Looking at the example of influential women across the world from all walks of life.”

Who is the most influential woman to you & why?

“JK Rowling.

She embodies the essence of perseverance and never giving up. She took knock-back after knock-back and got back up and continued to strive to achieve her goals. Today, as a successful, iconic woman and role-model, she isn’t afraid to voice her opinions on topics affecting women and stands up for what she believes and take on those who try to oppress.”

Megan Tyce
megan@h2o-creative.com