Why we need to celebrate International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day began as a movement for women’s suffrage. The earliest instance was in 1909 in New York as women were demanding the right to vote. In 1910, a woman called Clara Zetkin from Germany came up with the idea of an International Women’s Day. She organised a conference of 100 women from 17 countries so that women could collectively fight for their rights. Thus, IWD was formed. In 1911, it was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In 1913, it was decided to transfer IWD to March 8, and it has been celebrated on that day ever since. The day was only recognised by the United Nations in 1975, but ever since it has created a theme each year for the celebration. In 2011, former US President Barack Obama proclaimed March to be known as Women’s History Month.
Although many years have passed by, women are still fighting for equality throughout the world. Whether it is for political rights, positions in government leadership, economic equality, it is still an uphill battle for all women regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. It is a cause which ignites passion and unites us globally.
Women are still not getting equal pay with some sources reporting it will be at least another 65 years until women can close the gender gap. Women are still being sexually harassed in workplaces. Women are still facing sexual violence in countries throughout the world, and many have been enslaved into human trafficking. Male lawmakers are constantly making laws in regard to women’s health or clothing, without women being given the platform to choose for themselves.
Women are still not getting into positions of power and leadership despite being more qualified than their male counterparts. An alarming example was America voting for the actor/businessman Donald Trump as their President over a woman, Hillary Clinton, who had extensive political experience as First Lady, Secretary of State, and Senator of New York.
By promoting the social, cultural, political, and educational achievements of women and highlighting the struggles endured along their journeys to our children, it will inspire our future generations to be the catalysts for change that we still need in this world today. We need to celebrate people like Oprah Winfrey, Malala Yousufzai, Susan B. Anthony, and Marie Curie, just to name a few of many remarkable women.
In today’s modern world, technology and social media is proving to be a major catalyst for change. With the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements on twitter, women were able to support each other in coming forward to reveal that they were abused or harassed. The women’s marches throughout the world showed how united we all can be when we fight for the same issues globally. According to Facebook, International Women’s Day was its most talked about event in 2017, generating 430 million interactions from 165 million people. Half of these interactions were from the United States, India, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. Furthermore, the Womens March on January 21, 2017 was the largest Facebook event attended in 2017. This event was very significant as it came the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America. There was a sharp contrast into the crowd numbers generated by these events as they both were held in the same exact location. This is of extreme significance as 673 events were organized on all 7 continents for this same cause. Slowly but surely the pioneer women from our past are paving the way for a brighter future for today’s women, our daughters, and our future generations.
For more information, see http://www.internationalwomensday.com
#PressForProgress, #TimesUp, #MeToo