March 8th is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International Women’s Day, designated by the United Nations in 1977, is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
This year’s campaign theme, #PressforProgress, is a call to action based on The World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings that show gender parity is over 200 years away. And with global activism for women's equality fueled by movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and more - there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity.
We all know that gender parity won't happen overnight. But our strength and success along the road to equality will ultimately lie in our collective health, resilience and determination. Just as I talk about a culture of health being “a collective pursuit of health, one choice at a time” so are our efforts towards a culture of equality.
In the spirit of International Women’s Day - and with an eye on helping us all be as strong, healthy and resilient as possible — I want to encourage you to consider self-care as a vital piece in continuing to press forward for progress. How can we keep up this serious business of being strong women in the world without it?
Believe it or not, women are biologically wired to prioritize the care of others. Estrogen equips us with our nurturing, mother-bear qualities and encourages our investment in the well-being of others. The trick for us women is to figure out how to take that nurturing and protective nature and also apply it to ourselves.
So, how about today you take a breather? Whatever that is for you —a walk with your dog, a yoga class, tea with a friend, a massage, a nap — and revel in the knowledge that we women have what it takes to keep pushing, talking, negotiating and leading the way towards a better world.
And men, don’t think you are forgotten or disregarded. We women recognize that gender parity won’t happen without your whole-hearted investment. We understand that life for you is also filled with weighty responsibility and that most of you are pulling for gender parity as partners, parents, co-workers, bosses, leaders, educators, supporters and more. In order for you to keep up your work in the world, self-care is important for you too. Let’s all encourage each other to take time out to care for ourselves so we can put our best selves out into the world.
For some International Women’s Day inspiration, check this out. Nobel Prize Women