#BalanceforBetter A Tremendous Year For Women

byAnde Frazier


March 26, 2019 .3 min read

This year for International Women's Day the campaign theme is focusing around the idea of balance, #BalanceforBetter. This is the day where we truly take the time to recognize not only the need for a more gender-balanced world but the steps we’ve taken thus far to get there.

On this day we celebrate the achievements made by women and raise awareness against bias and take action for equality. 2018 alone was a tremendous year where women from all walks of life, made powerful moves. Here are just some of the many moments that happened last year:

Standing Up Against Sexual Assault

During the fall of 2018, #WhyIDidntReport began to trend when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee during hearings regarding the sexual assault allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Dr. Ford’s testimony sparked hundreds of women to contact the Guardian and The New York Times, providing responses to the hearings and also sharing their personal experiences with sexual assault.

A Majority-Female Cabinet

This past summer, Spain’s new Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez appointed a majority-female cabinet which ultimately made history as it was only a few decades ago that Spain had no women ministers. Today, almost two-thirds of the Prime Minister’s cabinet-level appointees — 11 of 17 to be exact — are women.

Addressing Gender Pay Gaps

After discovering that her male co-star, Jason Kennedy, made significantly more than her, Catt Sadler walked away from her job as an E! News host.

Sadler originally learned about the enormous pay gap from a female executive who also informed her that Kennedy was earning "double" what she made.

In a reflection letter written one year later, Sadler states:

The bottom line is he made double the pay for a similar position, similar job, with similar tenure, and a comparable public profile - the list goes on. The only notable difference was he was a man, and I was a woman. He, like so many men, enjoyed the fruits that the boys club was serving. Not his fault. And no fault of mine that I refused to accept it.

One year later, Sadler says "it’s been a remarkable twelve months" and is truly grateful for the opportunity to speak on issues of equal pay as well as "the opportunity to align with companies who support these critical virtues" but knows there is still much more work to do.

Time’s Up

Shortly following Sadler’s move to leave E! News, about 300+ actresses signed a Time's Up pledge for the 2018 Golden Globes, which included wearing all black to the event.

The Time’s Up initiative is powered by women and is geared towards creating a safe, fair and dignified workplace for women of all kinds.

We want women from the factory floor to the floor of the Stock Exchange, from child care centers to C-suites, from farm fields to the tech field, to be united by a shared sense of safety, fairness and dignity as they work and as we all shift the paradigm of workplace culture. - Time’s Up

Right before the Golden Globes ceremony, actress Eva Longoria told The New York Times:

This is a moment of solidarity, not a fashion moment. For years, we've sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our beautiful faces and our glamour. This time the industry can't expect us to go up and twirl around. That's not what this moment is about.

Women in Saudi Arabia Can Legally Drive

In September of 2017, King Salman announced that the longstanding ban against women driving would be lifted. With that, women in the Gulf country were finally given the ability to register for a driver’s licenses and get behind the wheel as of June 2018. This move was created in hopes to help the economy by increasing women’s participation in the workplace.

Oprah Winfrey

At the 2018 Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey became the first African-American woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award — an honorary Golden Globe Award bestowed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment".

Oprah gave an inspirational speech which touched on her beginnings, sexual abuse, female empowerment, and the #MeToo movement.

In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille award right here at the Golden Globes, and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award. - Oprah Winfrey

Her speech was so powerful and impactful that #Oprah2020 began to trend on Twitter as well as encouragement to run for president in a few years.

Note: Since then, Oprah has clarified that she is not interested in the position.

To celebrate the achievements made by women, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality, you can create your own #BalanceforBetter campaign within your community, network, organization or group. For more information, please visit: www.internationalwomensday.com