On March 8, CMHA Ontario joins individuals and organizations around the world to #EmbraceEquity in celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), an annual event held to mark the social, economic and political achievements of women.
#EmbraceEquity is the theme for IWD 2023. The IWD organizers are highlighting the need to talk about why “’equal opportunities are no longer enough’ – and can in fact be exclusionary, rather than inclusive.”
The IWD website specifies the basic difference between equality and equity, noting:
Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities.
Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
Among other issues, gender bias has a significant negative effect on medical diagnosis and the quality of health care women receive, leading to substantial delays in diagnosis and misdiagnosis. This includes delays in receiving mental health care, as research has found that women experience depression and anxiety twice as often as men, but experience more barriers in getting care.
These issues are especially concerning in light of new research from the Ontario Association of Social Workers, which reveals that 66 per cent of Ontario women between the ages of 18 and 35 are living with a mental health condition.
The new poll found that among younger women ages 18 to 35, the percentage of respondents who said that they were dealing with mental health challenges was much higher than average.
Further to the official IWD 2023 theme, the Canadian government has its own campaign it has dubbed Every Woman Counts. The federal government says IWD 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.
Show your support for IWD 2023 by visiting the International Women’s Day website and sharing how you #EmbraceEquity on social media.