International Women’s Day 2021 – #ChooseToChallenge

by Susanne Schuler

9 years to go – #ChoosetoChallenge – What will we have achieved by 2030?

The beginning of March holds two dates to remind us of the importance and indispensability of one part of the population – women

Mothers’ Day (in the UK) and International Women’s Day, 8th of March.

We need to remind ourselves as well of Davos 2016 (Who are the women of Davos 2016? | World Economic Forum ( and the UN Women initiative – HeforShe (HeForShe | Global Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality | HeForShe) – which made it official that women are top priority on the gender agenda and Planet50/50 (Get involved: Step It Up for Gender Equality | UN Women – Headquarters) gives us a clear timeline – 2030.

What is your contribution?

The Planet50/50 initiative is dedicated to “step it up for gender equality” and encourages all of us to do our bit to help achieve the related gender equality commitments of the UN sustainable development goals (Take Action for the Sustainable Development Goals – United Nations Sustainable Development).

The ambitious objective is, that by 2030, women and men will have equal access to education, employment and choice of jobs including equal remuneration; and that their human rights will be protected on an equal basis. To make this happen each of us is invited to commit to an individual contribution such as choosing to challenge behaviours, i.e. not to join in when someone is harassed because of their gender.

YES to diversity and NO to the exclusion

This campaign (Planet50/50) aims to promote not only gender equality but is a global outreach initiative aiming to impact the equal and fair treatment of men AND women, treating all human beings from whatever background, religion, colour, sexual orientation, ability or other marginality as they should be.

Each of us has, at any one time, the choice to act or at least to think in a certain way.

Our thinking influences our decisions.

So, let’s think more carefully before we act, let’s consider the context we live in and let’s educate ourselves before we make non-informed decisions and contribute more to the mountain of inequality.

The slogan is: YES to diversity and NO to exclusion.

What do you choose to challenge?

This year’s IWD motto is #ChoosetoChallenge

Over the last week I asked women in my network what they would choose to challenge and here is what they said:

 “…the supremacy of data, analysis and rationality in modern organisations and the devaluing of emotions, intuition and imagination as equally valid sources of insight and wisdom.” (@Liz Rivers)


“…Invisibility & silencing – women’s voices and experiences need to be heard & valued for a better world for all and Disconnection & disunity – social cohesion.” (@Jacqui Daukes)


How do each of us challenge ourselves.  What do each of us as individuals need to look at and challenge in ourselves, either thoughts, attitudes, actions etc….The antidote to complacency.” (@Suki Laniado Smith)


“… #challengeracism #challengecomplaceny, #challengeapathy but I think as women, I want to say, #ChallengeTheVoiceInYourHeadThatSaysYouCant.”  (@Kelli McLoud-Schingen)


… all existing definitions of what women should think feel and do and move towards an approach of the full realization of the human potential” (@Salma Yusuf).


“…generate ideas, use each other’s networks to help each other realise plans, bringing together the innovators, planners/initial catalyst funders, longer-term funders and doers…” (@Tania Songini)

What do you #ChooseToChallenge?

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