Why one ECD is saying ‘no’ to the unempathetic challenge of International Women’s Day 2021

Given the last twelve months, bestselling author and global empathy advocate Mimi Nicklin is saying “no” to being asked to take on anymore challenges as the International Women’s Day theme #ChooseToChallenge begins to circulate.

The theme for International Women’s Day this year has been created with the best of intentions for a more equal and equitable world, however, it is not the beliefs but the action that author, executive creative director and single mum Mimi Nicklin is challenging.

“I entirely support the continued passion and goal to drive women’s role and equity in society,” says Nicklin “however I also believe it is un-empathetic to the journeys of women all around the world today to be asking us to challenge anything further than the existing daily challenges we are all already facing. As Covid-19 continues, we have seen that its impact, and its economic fallout, have had a far more regressive effect on women than our male counterparts – do we really need to be taking on anything bigger than overcoming the challenge of surviving and resetting the grips of the pandemic?”

According to McKinsey, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to the Covid crisis than men’s jobs, and whilst women make up 39 per cent of global employment they account for 54 per cent of overall job losses. Almost 1 million mothers have left the workforce in the USA alone and there is a continuous slew of headlines shouting out for help:

Working moms are not okay.” “Pandemic Triples Anxiety And Depression Symptoms In New Mothers.” “Working Moms Are Reaching The Breaking Point.”

With raging mental health issues, anxiety spiralling out of control and burnout at all-time highs, Nicklin believes that asking women to take on any more challenges is disconnected and unempathetic to women everywhere.

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“International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on our progress made and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women. Given the year that has passed, I think we have great amounts to celebrate in the challenges we have already overcome (and are continuing to face every day).  Should we be asking each other to do any more than that?”

After months of balancing it all – alone, from home, with children flying all around us and pets interrupting our board meetings, Nicklin believes that this International Women’s Day we should be saying #ChooseToCelebrate and not #ChooseToChallenge. “Let’s celebrate women for what they are doing, for who they have near them, for the moments they continue to endure when they realise they truly are doing it all, already.”

“This month I want to say to women everywhere: choose to empathise with yourself and with the strong women around you, for it is our survival, our tenacity and our grit that should be the ultimate celebration in March 2021,” says Nicklin in closing.