Millions Celebrate World Women’s Day
Millions of people across the world are celebrating the phenomenon that has become International Women’s Day.
International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women's Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year. It commemorates the movement for women's rights. The earliest Women's Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York and organized by the Socialist Party of America.
But now it is celebrated across the globe. In some counties that States have designated the day a national holiday including: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.
Closer to home, yesterday Mayor Sadiq Khan marked preparations for today by inviting thousands of men and women to march across the capital in support of women.
There are many great symbols of heroic women, but one who will be in great demand to day and for many years to come will be: Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.
She is often quoted as saying: “I don’t want to be remembered for being shot in the head, but rather for standing up to be counted”
We’ve asked our three interns for their thoughts on this very special day’
International Women’s Day is so important because it signifies solidarity amongst women across the world. Progress has obviously been made since the first celebration in 1911, but there is still a long way to go, particularly when it comes to women from BME backgrounds. Whilst the gender wage gap has narrowed over the past few decades, the disparity between the wages of white women and black women is actually growing. In the US, for instance, for every dollar that a white man is paid, white women earn 81 cents, black women 65 cents, and Hispanic women 58 cents. On International Women’s Day we should remember how much has been accomplished, but also how much there is still left to achieve.
In spite of these challenges, International Women’s Day is a perfect celebration of how powerful and inspiring women are both individually and united.
Loren J Williams:
On this International Women's Day I am inspired by the words of Bell Hooks:
"Feminist movement has created profound positive changes in the lives of girls and boys, women and men; living in our society, in a political system of imperialists, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy. And even though trashing feminism has become common place, the reality remains: everyone has benefited for the cultural revolutions put in place by contemporary feminist movement."
I am reminded that the freedom of society, from all forms of oppression, begins with recognizing the inherent value of individuals and their contributions.
Well over half of the population are women, we are always overlooked and disregarded in society for the issues we care about. We often have to prove our worthiness and value in society, while a man is instantly granted respect because of his gender alone. It seems quite absurd that in 2017, we still have to fight for equality but International Women’s Day is a reminder that our fight is not over.
“Feminism isn't about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength." - G.D Anderson.
Let’s change the way boys see women and the way girls see themselves.