March 8 is International Women’s Day. Here’s a review of interesting facts and tidbits about the journey women have taken and the achievements we’ve made over time.
March 8 is International Women’s Day. Here’s a review of interesting facts and tidbits about the journey women have taken and the achievements we’ve made over time.”I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.”
Although the seeds of International Women’s Day were planted in 1908, it wasn’t until later that the idea took shape. This day was to be a revolutionary change for women’s rights.
Despite controversies as to the origin of this liberating date called International Woman’s Day, International Women’s Day started as National Woman’s Day in New York in 1909.
Lenora O’Reilly, a labor organizer, held a meeting in the Murry Hill Lyceum to gather support. In Brooklyn, Charlotte Perkins Gilman spoke with the Parkside Church. “It is true that a woman’s duty is centered in her home and motherhood, but home should mean the whole country.”
The idea of “Woman’s Day” caught on in Europe a couple of years later. On March 19, 1911, the first official International Woman’s Day event was held. This day brought in over one million people worldwide to voice equal rights and provide support. The spark was lit in Austria, Denmark, and Sweden, and the fires spread throughout Europe.
Although most things seemed to halt in the next few years, as it was during WW1, International Woman’s Day continued. Women around the world kept marching despite the struggles and adversity of wartime.
On February 3, 1917, Alexandra Kollontai, Russian feminist, led a huge demonstration. During this time, an assembly was elected that allowed women the right to vote. Remarkably, Vladimir Lenin declared that Woman’s Day would be a national holiday from then on. People in Spain and China also adopted the holiday.
During the year 1945, “Woman’s Day” became “Women’s Day”. This presented a day that felt more inclusive to women everywhere. It was a day to celebrate feminism and support women around the world
“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.”
The United Nations General Assembly finally gave International Women’s Day a specific time each year. As mentioned earlier, it is celebrated on March 8 and in most corners of the globe. For a couple of days surrounding March 8, double the number of flowers are sold. In China, women are given a half-day off work. In Italy, women are given mimosa blossoms, celebrating this holiday, or the le Festa Della Donna
By the year, 2014, International Women’s Day was made an official holiday in 25 countries. However, it is celebrated in over 100 countries in all.
Even though International Women’s Day is a beautiful time to celebrate being a woman, we must recognize the continual struggle and opposition in the face of change. In 2019, In Northern Ireland, abortion was legalized, a law controlling how women dressed was abolished in Sudan, and five women were elected to a government coalition in Finland.
Although the holiday originally started as a socialist ideal, countries like the United States commercialize the feminist movement. Still, others continue to press for women’s rights and try to keep the roots of International Women’s Day firmly planted in soils for change.
2020 to Present
The Website International Women’s Day 2022 (internationalwomensday.com) highlights Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.
There is ongoing bias and discrimination towards those with the courage to take a stand in the name of feminism, especially those who demonstrate such typically masculine traits as anger, dominance, and power. Yet, at the core of this purpose which these women stand for, is that all gender deserve equality. Men have the right to be sensitive, and a woman has the right to express her power. Gender discrimination does not just occur across groups, but within them too. Let’s check in with our own unconscious bias and consider how we judge other women too.