Choose to Challenge on International Women's Day 2021

4th Mar 2021
Challenging mental health inequalities
Women's mental health

International Women’s Day is an important moment in the year. It's where collectively, we celebrate the achievements of women, shine a light on issues that affect them and call for gender parity.

The theme for 2021

This year's theme is #ChooseToChallenge:

"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. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge."

Women hands up graphic (International Women's Day)

Recognise the agency of young women and girls

Our report, The mental heath of young women and girls policy briefing' on young women and girls, highlighted that these difficulties do exist, but that, “It is important to recognise the agency that young women and girls have to protect their mental health, to avoid implying that they are ‘helpless victims’ who must simply rely on the actions of others.”

Take an empowered stand

Today, we can make an empowered stand as women and girls.

This day means so much because we get a chance to raise awareness around these statistics, make a stand and say they shouldn’t be this way, and that it is not the individual's fault.

To create momentum for societal and structural change and shine a light on those that have defied the odds and show others that with education and campaigning they can too!

International Women's Day are asking for you to strike the #ChooseToChallenge pose: raise your hand high and show that you commit to choosing to challenge inequality, call out bias, question stereotypes, and help forge an inclusive world.

Read more from the International Women's Day organisers

Related content

A-Z Topic: Women and mental health

In England, around one in five women has a common mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or self-harm.

Statistics: Men and women

Mental health problems affect both men and women, but not in equal measure.

The mental health of young women and girls policy briefing

The mental health of young women and girls is deteriorating, and the gap between men and women has widened over recent years. As the evidence section in this paper will show, the last 15 years have seen an unprecedented rise in reported mental health problems amongst young women and girls. We now see their needs reaching crisis levels.

Engaging with complexity: Providing effective trauma-informed care for women

In recent years, understanding of trauma has increased significantly. Alongside this has been a growing recognition of the role institutions can play in perpetuating trauma, inadvertently causing further harm to some of the most vulnerable people they work with. Understanding the impact of trauma on women is, therefore, vital for providing effective services.

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