The 8th of March we globally celebrate Women's day - But have you ever thought of why?
Well, you can say that it started in the late 1800- early 1900 as national and international organizations globally formed to coordinate efforts to gain voting rights for females. The Woman Suffarage Alliance is still today one of the most famous one. The initial Suffrage Alliance was founded 1904 in Berlin, Germany. These movements, except for voting rights, also worked for equal civil rights for all genders. Not only the female one.
In America, the Women's movement started in 1908. This as the massive inequality between women and men, and seeing Europe making progress, were spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for a change. Which resulted in 15,000 women marched trough New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
In 1909, In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed on 28 of February. Which women continued to celebrate until the last Sunday of February.
In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named Clara Zetkin proposed the idea that there should be a celebration on the same day - A Women's Day - to press for their demands of equality for all. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries greeted her suggestion with unanimous approval.
Fast forwarding a couple of years and gaining the International Women's Day as the result. But bare in mind that it wasn't an easy ride. And it took until 1975 until International Women's Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations and recognized fully as a holiday.
So, that was a quick story lesson.
But what's the deal about Women's Day today?
The International Women's day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. - UN
Women's Day is a time to reflect on the progress made, to call for improvements and to celebrate acts of curage and determination by ordinary women.The idea of this theme is to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and number 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. The theme will also focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment, and women’s human rights.
And yes, the world is changing to the positive when it comes to equality issues. We have globalization, technological and digital revolution with all the opportunities it brings us. But the gaps between human and human is still quite large.
And due to the rhetorics of the past election in America the Women's March was created. A worldwide protest founded on January 21, 2017 that had women all over the world protest to advocate legislation and policies regarding human rights. This including women's rights but also discussing the immigration reform, healthcare reform, the environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion and workers' rights. A protest that went to history as the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. And maybe the largest worldwide since the participation has been estimated at five million protesters.
I want to celebrate, demonstrate and activate!
What can I do?
Either you celebrate the people in your surrounding by appreciating them a little bit extra today. Discussing with colleagues, friends and family. Be extra kind! Always. Or..
You make a statement in the sam spirit of Women's March. This to recognizing the value that women of all backgrounds add to our society. Protesting the lower wages, discrimination, sexual harassment as well as job insecurity. Recognizing that trans and gender nonconforming people face heightened levels of discrimination, social oppression, and political targeting. Anyone, anywhere, can join by making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, in one or all of the following ways:
Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman
But no matter how you personally choose to celebrate;