Why International Women's Day is more important than ever...
A little bit of background to this amazing day.
It would be difficult to wake up and miss that Monday March 8th is International Women’s Day.
But apart from a vague acknowledgment that someone, somewhere has decided to use this date to celebrate women, do we really know where this day has come from and what it aims to achieve? As a female business owner, entrepreneur and mother I decided to delve a little more deeply into what this day actually means and how we can use it to make our world a better place – I hope you enjoy reading what I discovered!
You probably know already that the main aim of IWD is to improve gender parity, by raising awareness of women’s equality and celebrating the achievements of women worldwide, as well as raising funds for charities aiming to help women establish and support themselves and others. But did you know that this movement has now been going strong for over 100 years? As the world industrialised at the turn of the last century women became more and more aware of the political and social discrimination they faced, and in several countries it was agreed that a day would be chosen to celebrate the growing achievements of those fighting for women’s rights. The first International Women’s Day was honoured in 1911. In the following years and especially around the First World War women became more outspoken on issues including womens’ rights to vote, hold certain occupations and improve working conditions,
but it wasn’t until 1975 that International Women’s Day was first recognised by the United Nations.
Subsequent years saw a slump in activity as feminism as a concept became unfashionable, until finally in 2001 internationalwomensday.com was launched to provide guidance, list resources and highlight the achievements of women – and thanks to this platform the day has grown in recognition ever since. Each year a different campaign is launched to highlight relevant issues, and last year hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised to help supported charities, including the Worldwide Girl Guides movement and Catalyst Inc, a global working women’s organisation.
Each year International Women’s Day grows from strength to strength, and is now recognised as an official holiday in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Ukraine and Vietnam. A global lists of activities grows each year too, including business conferences, government networking and cultural events. Important milestones are achieved every year, as more and more women become university graduates, prime ministers and astronauts – but there is still so much more to do. In 2021 it is still an uncomfortable truth that women are often not paid equally to their male counterparts, are not as present at high levels of business and that they continue to bear the brunt of domestic violence. The aim of International Women’s Day is to help make every girl’s future brighter, more rewarding and safer than ever before – and we can all do our bit to ensure this is an ultimately successful goal.
This year, the theme for the day is ‘Choose To Challenge’ – something we can all do is call out inequality and gender bias when we see it, as well as continuing to celebrate women’s achievements and encouraging a more inclusive dialogue with friends, family and policy makers.
Good luck with all your efforts to celebrate this special day, today and every day – learn more here
and here’s hoping we can create a gender equal world for all of our futures.
Best wishes for now, Deb
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