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Sarah Everard one year on - What has changed?

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that's safe, secure, and accommodating. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together, we can forge women's equality.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is powered by the collective efforts of all. It’s a globally recognized celebration that hails the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Women’s full and effective participation and leadership in all areas of life drives progress for everyone.

IWD also stands as a rally cry for the continued pursuit for gender parity.

Together, women and men alike, have a duty to increase visibility of women’s achievements, identify the current biases and discriminations that exist, and establish meaningful narratives, resources and activity to promote equality.

Not only is it IWD, but this month also marks the one year anniversary of the death of Sarah Everard. Sarah Everard, a 33 year old London resident, was walking home from a friend’s house when a Metropolitan police officer claimed he was arresting her for violating COVID-19 restrictions, but drove her to a nearby city where he raped and strangled her, before burning her body and disposing of her remains in a nearby pond.

Thousands of women gathered to mourn her death, with the gut-wrenching fear that Sarah Everard could have been any one of us. Police deemed the organized vigil, however, an illegal gathering, according to COVID-19 restrictions, and arrested participants. Bewildering images circulated the internet of grieving women being pinned to the ground and brutalized by Metropolitan police officers.

Prosecutors would later say COVID-19 rules were used by one of their own officers to detain and then kidnap Everard. It’s today’s reality that women must support women.

In lieu of IWD and Sarah Everard’s one year memorial, what have we learned in the past year, and what can we do going forward to ensure a better 2022?

Everard’s death was a watershed moment. Her murderer had remained an officer despite twice being accused of indecent exposure. Campaigners in London have submitted a legal bid to try to force the government to hold a statutory public inquiry to investigate misogyny in policing. It is also a stark reminder that women are not safe on the streets, and that we must have each other’s back.

Some pervasive 2021 statistics include:

1 in 3 women globally experience violence
1 in 4 young women (aged 15-24 years) who have been in a relationship will have already experienced violence by an intimate partner by the time they reach their mid-twenties
52% of women in the world deal with non-inclusive behavior at work.

Violence against women is an endemic. Let’s make 2022 a year of change, safety, prosperity and unity. Women can only improve their situation on a global scale by working together. SafeUP is here to give you the tools to do it. We are the largest global platform for women’s safety, and a community of women supporting women.

We can imagine a gender equal world, but we can also make it our reality. Celebrate IWD, memorialize Sarah Everard, and join us in destroying the statistics.

We always have your back, and we know you have ours, too.

In loving memory of Sarah Everard, may she be a light in all of us to fight for good.

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