IWD2021 - #ChoosetoChallenge
International Women’s Day 2021: Choose To Challenge
Women’s Rights = Human Rights
Women are entitled to the full & equal enjoyment of all of their human rights & to be free from all forms of discrimination.
For women to be fully empowered, we need freedom from sexual violence
International Women's Day, 8 March, is an opportunity to reinforce the fact that everyone has a role to play in forging a more gender-balanced world. This widely celebrated day highlights the achievements of women and the need to promote equality and justice.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is “Choose to Challenge”.
In Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, we know that gender equality requires equality in sexual activity and relationships. We choose to challenge sexual violence, including sexual harassment, in identifying and overcoming gender stereotypes, in exposing misconception about sexual violence for what it is – a myth, and in promoting empowerment and healthy, positive relationships and attitudes rooted in equality.
We believe that full empowerment of women can only happen when our society is free from sexual violence.
The challenge for us as a society is to make that change in how we view sexual violence: to challenge how we accept and tolerate it in our society and to then make a positive change towards equality and freedom from violence.
Some stark stats...*
- A third of all women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime (UN, 2019)
- 42% of women in Ireland have been victims of rape or sexual assault. (SAVI, 2002)
- Among DRCC clients, one in 5 women have been assaulted by their partner or ex-partner (DRCC, 2020).
- One in four girls in Ireland reported they or someone they knew felt physically unsafe as a result of online harassment. (Plan Ireland, 2021)
- 67% of girls in Ireland were subjected to online violence (Plan Ireland, 2021)
- 21% of Irish People surveyed think sex without consent is ok in certain situations (Eurobarometer Poll, 2016)
- One in two women in Europe have experienced sexual harassment since the age of 15 (FRA, 2015)
- 20% of young people in Ireland think pornography is a good way to learn about sex (Youth Work Ireland, 2018)
- 35% of female students & 25% of non-binary students have never disclosed sexual assault (SES Survey, 2020)
- Greater internet use during the COVID-19 pandemic has increased online gender-based violence and the online sexual abuse of children and especially girls.
*Information sources below
A challenged world is an alert world - from challenge comes change.
So, let's all #ChoosetoChallenge.
The original aim of International Women’s Day – to achieve full gender equality - has not yet been fully reached although much progress has been made. In addition to the sexual violence, including harassment, which still persists against women and girls, there is still a gender pay-gap, women’s voices are still lacking in many leadership roles, and women still lag behind men in relation to education and healthcare.
On International Women's Day, women across the world come together to shine a light on these inequalities, while also celebrating the achievements of women who have overcome many of these barriers.
Here in the DRCC, we believe that everyone has a role to play and can contribute to ending violence against women and girls, even during this Covid-19 pandemic.
Violence against women undermines women’s core fundamental rights such as dignity, access to justice, access to health and gender equality.
How do we make that change?
Change can start by listening, believing, & supporting victims/survivors of sexual violence.
It’s time to call out harassment, gender bias, victim blaming, & toxic behaviours
It's time to challenge harmful rape myths & rape culture
It's time for change: to positive behaviour & attitudes based on equality
On International Women's Day, we commit to working together and making a difference for women and girls - Join the movement! #IWD2021
- SAVI: The SAVI Report (2002)
- Eurobarometer: Special Eurobarometer on Gender-based Violence (2016)
- Youth Work Ireland: The Positive Sexual Relationships Report (2018)
- USI/Active Consent, 2020: Sexual Experiences Survey (2020)
- NUI Galway: Porn Report, NUI Galway (2018)
- DRCC Statistics Supplement 2019
- DRCC Annual Report 2019
- International Women’s Day: #ChooseToChallenge
- UN Women Facts and figures: Ending violence against women & UN News
- FRA - European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Violence Against Women: An EU-Wide Survey (Main Results) (2015)
- Plan International Ireland FREE TO BE ONLINE? A report on girls' and young women's experiences of online harassment
- European Parliament: Understanding COVID-19’s impact on women
If you want to support Dublin Rape Crisis Centre in our work challenging and preventing the harm and healing the trauma of those affected by sexual violence, please share this message and, if you can, please donate to support our work.