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#BreakTheBias - 3 ways to cultivate a gender equal world

Updated: Jun 2

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias. It’s a call to action for a gender equal world:

● that is free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.

● that encourages diversity, equity and inclusivity.

● and that values and celebrates differences.

In honour of IWD, you might like to reflect on these qualities and how you can feel more empowered to cultivate them in and for yourself and those around you.

The universal human needs - the qualities that connect all humans across race, culture, gender and age - can support this.

Graphs of Human Qualities

Image: Universal Human Needs; source:

1. How can you help to cultivate a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination?

The first step is always Awareness: noticing your judgments.

It’s normal for us to have judgments - it’s part of being human.

The key is to be able to notice them and not identify with them or let them influence your behaviour and interactions with others.

Women working together doing high fives

Judgments are a surface reaction. Underneath your judgments are your feelings and needs.

When you notice a judgment, you can pause and connect with your deeper values and longings. Maybe you are reacting to someone because of your own needs for acceptance or inclusion or perhaps it’s around safety.

And what might that person’s needs be?

2. How can you help to cultivate a world that encourages diversity, equity and inclusivity? Working towards a Gender Equal World.

It can be a useful exercise to reflect on the culture that you were raised in and how much diversity, equity and inclusivity were encouraged.

Ask yourself how you can help to cultivate a world that encourages diversity, equity and inclusivity - we all play a part!

I grew up in Melbourne in the 1970s, and my memories are very much about separation and stereotyping of different cultures in my community.

How can you be more inclusive?
How could children have been encouraged to be more inclusive?
How can you be more inclusive in your daily life now?

3. How can you help to cultivate a world that values and celebrates differences?

Once again, the universal human needs can support us to celebrate differences. In any situation or interaction, different needs may be arising for each person.

Maybe you are wanting connection and play, while your friend is wanting peace and solitude. These needs are seemingly in conflict with each other, however that’s only if you're focused on your friend or this time as the strategy. Maybe you can honour her needs for peace and solitude first and she may have more capacity for connection and play later.

Noticing your expectations of others and translating your “shoulds” into universal human needs can also help. If someone isn’t doing something how and when you want it to be done, rather than react and get angry, you can recognise that they may need some trust and freedom to choose when and how they do it (if at all).

Allow others trust and freedom to choose how and when they want to do things

Life is pressured. By loosening our grip on life and on our expectations of each other, we can invite in more ease and peace and this will give us more energy to recognise and celebrate each other’s differences.

Loosening your grip on life allows expectations to lower - and invites more ease and peace into your life

Equality grows when everyone’s needs are acknowledged as equally important. Whenever you see someone else’s needs as less than or more important than yours, you are inviting tension and disconnect.

Through celebrating the diversity of needs, we cultivate:





Happy International Women’s Day!

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