BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Today is International Women’s Day, a celebration that began over 100 years ago in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.
One hundred years after the first celebration of International Women’s Day, President Barack Obama proclaimed March as Women’s History Month in 2011. The purpose of International Women’s Day is to recognize all of the achievements of women and bring a call to action for women’s equality.
Every year, International Women’s Day is recognized on March 8. The theme this year is ‘Choose To Challenge.’ One challenge currently being faced is the COVID-19 pandemic.
Denise Soler Cox is a filmmaker and podcaster challenging the role of women in society and the workforce while encouraging women to make the changes they desire to see.
Soler Cox is the co-founder of Project Enye and also the producer and director of the documentary “Being Enye.” She is one of the 38% of female documentary directors in the business, and this year has brought her and many women more clarity.
“I think for a lot of women they start beginning to think, what could my life be? Right? Because we had so many restrictions put upon us, staying at home, kids at home,” she said. “I mean so many things that changed and it really, I think forces the women that’s ready to make a change and that’s dreaming about a change to actually be decisive about that change.”
Soler Cox says that a huge reason for this change in mindset is the constant reoccurring issue of the gender wage gap.
“Unfortunately, as of the statistics for last year, white women make $0.81 on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. Now, Latina women of which both you and I are, we’re making I think $0.55, one penny less than the year before,” she said. “And that’s very upsetting to sit and think about that and wonder how are things going to change, and frankly, I have found a lot of power myself looking at what can I do to affect this. What can I change about myself to improve that for me? Because what I do for me actually does affect the collective.”
The International Women’s Day slogan is ‘Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions — all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.'”
“Fill your life with supportive women, fill your life with women that celebrate you and that you feel amazing with, fill your life with people you believe in and who believe in you,” Soler Cox said. “You deserve it!”
Purple, green, and white are the colors used to bring awareness to International Women’s Day. You can show your support by posting a photo with your right hand held up and the hashtag Choose To Challenge. You’re choosing to challenge the gender wage gap, gender inequality, and create a more inclusive world for everyone.