International Womens' Day

March 8 is coming soon and is a special day for me. It's the International Women's Day, and it was celebrated in a big way in the country where I grew up, ex-Yugoslavia.

I am very lucky that my family always gave me the feeling from an early age that I can do anything as a girl and a woman, that I can do any job and that I am not better or worse at anything because of my gender. But I realized quite early on that our society doesn't necessarily see equality that way. I can tell you many personal stories about discrimination against women, including in the yoga world, but I'll focus on a few facts here.

Yes, we have come a long way since the first International Women's Day in 1911, with its roots in the fight for better pay and the right to vote.

But there is still so much to do:

·      For every dollar a man earns, a woman receives an average of 54 cents.

·      Based on today's progress, it will take 202 years to close this gender pay gap, according to the WWF.

·      Statistics show that women earn 21% less than men, with only 55 of the 500 richest people in the world being women.

·      Only a fifth of parliamentary seats are held by women, and only 19 out of 196 possible heads of state are women - only seven more than 20 years ago.

·      1 in 3 women will be physically or sexually abused in their lifetime because of their gender.

This information is not a reason to despair, on the contrary, it is an impetus for us to take the issue of women's empowerment seriously, to support each other and to raise our voices whenever we see injustice. But above all, to use our position and power to give other women more visibility and provide them opportunities to earn more money.

On March 8, 12:30pm, I'm teaching a free community class for women who want to celebrate their femininity and resilience together. For all those who believe that there is enough space for each of us on the top + that none of us is truly free without all of us being free: Pure women's empowerment!

Saprema, with great love, Gabriela