International Women's Day 2023
International Women's Day is celebrated annually on March 8 and the purpose of this day is to recognize and honour the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This day also brings attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence/abuse against women.
The first International Women's Day celebration can be traced back to the early twentieth century as a result of the labour movements in North America and Europe. But it wasn't until 1975 that The United Nations recognized International Women's Day globally and began celebrating annually on March 8.
International Women's Day 2023 Themes:
Each year, International Women's Day themes are chosen depending on the social, political and economical climate at the time. This years main themes are #DigitALL, #EmbraceEquity, and #EveryWomanCounts.
#DigitALL - This theme aims to identify and celebrate the contributions women and girls are making to technology and online education (UN Women).
- This year, academics and researchers will explore the impact of the digital gender gap on inequality for women and girls, as the UN estimates that women's lack of access to the online world will cause a $1.5 trillion loss to gross domestic product of low and middle-income countries by 2025 if action isn't taken.
#EmbraceEquity - This theme aims to challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion (IWD).
- Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. Whereas, equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities.
#EveryWomanCounts - This theme is a reminder that all women, from all ages and walks of life, have a place in every aspect of Canadian society, including in the economic, social, and democratic spheres (Government of Canada).
- The Government of Canada is hosting a free online course that celebrates the achievements of Canadian Women throughout history. While this free course targets grade 6-12 students, anyone can create an account and learn! Register here.
Global Threats Against Women
Over the last year we have seen restrictions on Women's bodily autonomy, backlash against independence, and horrific sexual assault stories coming out of the media. Women in countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Ukraine and even the United States are fighting for their rights amid war, violence and policy changes.
The Overturn of Roe vs Wade - On Fri. June 24, 2022 the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade, ending the right to a legal abortion. This devastating decision directly threatens American Women's reproductive rights, freedom, and has the power to influence other countries to implement similar policy changes. All Supreme Court Justices were males up until 1981 and since the birth of the United States Supreme Court there have been 115 appointed Justices with 109 of them being men, and only 6 being women. Currently there are four Women serving on the Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Amy Coney Barrett, and Ketanji Brown Jackson.
I will say it louder for the people in the back..no woman should be told she can't make decisions about her own body.
Gender Pay Gap in Sports - on average male professional athletes earn 80% more than Women professional athletes, and no it is not because men are "better". One of the main reasons why professional Women athletes are being underpaid is because of the lack of corporate sponsorships. Women athletes perform the same or better statistically than men athletes and work just as hard, but are not being seen as equally valuable or marketable in the eyes of major corporations. Today less than 1% of sports sponsorship is invested in Women’s sports. It's easy to shrug and say, that's just the market but the reality is that the people in power at these companies are disproportionately male and their business decisions can't help but be influenced by their own personal biases and interests. Right now, Women's sports represent a massive, untapped opportunity for corporate partners looking to get involved at what is still an early stage. Audiences grow with media coverage, increasing the value of sponsorships, which themselves increase consumer awareness, thus attracting further media coverage. If you want to see the pay-gap decrease, hold yourself accountable and turn on Women's games when they're playing.
- In the Forbes 2020 top 50 highest paid athletes, there is one woman, Naomi Osaka (#29).
|Avg. Male Salary/Year
|Avg. Woman Salary/Year
|NBA vs WNBA
|NHL vs NWHL
|MLS vs NWSL
Gender Gap in Sports - there is not just inequality in pay, but also with participation and opportunity. Annually, 1.13 million more boys are given sporting opportunities than girls and 1.5 million fewer women than men participate in sport at least once a month. The number of women working in the sports industry at the entry level is also significantly lower than men.
- Only half of the governing bodies in sport currently meet the government target to have women making up one quarter of the people sitting around the boardroom table.
- Women make up only 18% of qualified coaches.
- Coaches of Women's teams at the collage level earn 63 cents for every dollar earned by head Coaches of men’s teams.
Sometimes it's hard to not feel like society is going backwards when it comes to Women's rights, but it's important to remember that we can something about it. That's why it is of utmost importance to us here at Frameworth that we stand with Women and use our available resources to educate and push forward the very important message of gender equality and equity.
How you can support Women and Girls
We all have a Woman in our life, whether she's our mother, sister, cousin, friend or partner. Let's celebrate the successful Women around us, reminding today's Girls that their dreams are within reach and that they are valued. Below are a few ways you can show your allyship and help empower the Women and Girls in your life.
- Create a safe space - creating a 'safe space' means establishing an atmosphere where Women/Girls feel physically and emotionally secure. It is a place where they are free to express themselves without fear, judgement or intimidation and are protected from bodily harm, including sexual abuse and preventable sport injuries. Creating a 'safe space' includes speaking up and holding others accountable for inappropriate advances, comments, or actions. Remember that silence is complicity.
- Utilize social media - share educational and supportive social media posts on March 8 (and the days leading up to this important date), and/or start a positive and informative conversation on social media with the hashtag #IWD2023.
- Continue to learn - it is never too late to learn about something new or different. Being a lifelong learner will help you adapt to change, feel more fulfilled, and help you maintain stronger cognitive functions as you get older. With new information and research being released all the time, it is important to keep yourself up-to-date and aware of the global on-going injustices against Women.
- Volunteer / Attend marches and protests / Donate - volunteering with a Women's rights organization is the perfect opportunity to learn first-hand about the challenges and inequality Women face on a daily basis. Volunteering with a Women's rights organization will contribute to change and your own personal growth. In addition, the war on equal rights requires EVERYONES support. You don't want to look back at this time in your life and think "I didn't do everything I could". Women cannot fight this war alone and if you're an individual of quality, standing with Women and Girls should not intimidate you nor make you feel threatened. Lastly, donating to a Women's rights organization will help establish better legal protections for Women/Girls such as safe houses and community support programs. Most donations are even tax-deductible.
Celebrating the Women of Frameworth
Women have always played a critical role in the long-term success of Frameworth Sports and continually contribute to the growth of the business. Whether they're involved in implementing new strategies, product design, reaching new audiences/customers, or pitching new partnerships, the Women of Frameworth are intelligent, determined, and hard-working. We are extremely grateful to have such a talented group of Women and we're happy to high-light some of their personal and professional achievements below.
- From: Newmarket, Ontario (currently residing in Durham Region)
- Favourite Sports: Basketball, Football, Baseball, Softball, Figure Skating
- Favourite Teams: Raptors, Bills, Jays
- Favourite Frameworth Memory: Public and Private Events
- From: Sri Lanka, South Asia
- Favourite Sport: Soccer
- Favourite Team: All of them
- Favourite Frameworth Memory: Annual Holiday Staff Party
- From: Scarborough, Ontario
- Favourite Sports Team: Toronto Raptors
- Favourite Athlete: Fred VanVleet
- Favourite Frameworth Memory: Daily interactions with co-workers
- From: Milton, Ontario
- Favourite Sports Team: Boston Bruins
- Favourite Players: Zdeno Chara
- Favourite Frameworth Memory: Meeting Sidney Crosby
- From: Woodstock, Ontario
- Favourite Sports Team: Toronto Maple Leafs
- Favourite Players: Sidney Crosby, Alek Manoah, Sarah Nurse
- Favourite Frameworth Memory: Toronto Blue Jays Public Signing Event
Highlighting Women in Sports
Below you will find a few examples of some Women making a difference in the sports industry through social activism and representation.
Sarah Nurse, Team Canada Women's Hockey - in 2022, Sarah Nurse became the first Black Woman to win an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada and broke the all-time record for points in an Olympic tournament with 18, crushing the longstanding record from the legendary Hayley Wickenheiser set back in 2006. Nurse is also the first Woman to ever be featured as the cover athlete for an EA Sports video game (NHL 23) which shouldn't go unnoticed in the predominately male gaming industry. Nurse comes from an incredible sporting background. Her cousin, Kia Nurse, is a star with the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, and her other cousin, Darnell Nurse, plays with the Edmonton Oilers. But none of them can say they're an Olympic champion. Sarah Nurse is the only one. Off-ice, Nurse is very active on social media and the community. She has become a voice for Women and the Black communities, and spends a lot of time volunteering with different organizations. At the 2023 NHL All-Star tournament, Nurse displayed class-act confidence and stole the show during the skills competition. Themes: Black Lives Matter, Participation of Girls in Sports.
- If you are interested in learning more about the stories of Black athletes and the importance of inclusion and diversity in sports, check out the Canadian documentary Black Ice. Black Ice examines the role of Black players in Canadian hockey and is executively produced by LeBron James, Drake, and Maverick Carter.
Megan Rapinoe, OL Reign of the National Women's Soccer League - known for starting conversations around social justice and kneeling during the American national anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the Black Lives Matter movement, Rapinoe has spoken out against laws banning transgender youth from playing sports. And, at the 2022 ESPY Awards, in her speech for winning Best Play, she called for WNBA player and Black Lives Matter activist Brittney Griner’s safe return from Russia. In addition, Rapinoe is a voice for the LGBTQ+ rights and gender equity, tackling head-on the fight for equal pay for women in professional sports. On July 7, 2022 Rapinoe was one of 17 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented by US President Joe Biden. Per the White House, the honor is bestowed to recognize "exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors." Themes: Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ rights, Equal Pay.
Naomi Osaka, Japanese professional tennis player WTA - ranked world No. 1 in singles by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), Osaka is the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles. She is a four-time Grand Slam singles champion, with two Australian Open and two US Open titles. Off-court, Osaka encourages others to think critically and challenge the norms of sports. While competing in the 2020 U.S. Open, she consistently used her platform to keep the Black Lives Matter movement and victims of police brutality in the public eye. She has also focused on advocating for mental health after withdrawing from the French Open due to the harmful effects of media obligations on her wellbeing. Themes: Mental Health, Black Lives Matter, Racial Justice.
Impactful Quotes to Keep in Mind
- "Women's rights are human rights"
- "My body, my choice"
- "Solidarity includes showing up"
- "Silence is complicity"
- "Breaking down gender barriers helps everyone"
- "When Women's rights are under attack, we fight back"
- "Through the process of equity, we can reach equality"
Interested in learning more? Check out the resources below.
- Celebrating the Women who have made an impact in Canada
- Represent Women
- International Women's Day 2023
Written by: Danielle McGlenister, firstname.lastname@example.org