“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” – Gloria Steinem.
March 8th, otherwise known as International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women from around the world and throughout history. However, it’s also important to remember that the day marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
And although International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since the early 1900’s, I don’t remember this day ever being such an important date or even mentioned in school.
Nonetheless, it’s important to recognize the achievements women have accomplished in social, economic, cultural and political environments because it’s important to realize that these achievements came with a price, sacrifices and most of the achievements have only been accomplished within the past few years.
As mentioned on IWD’s website, there’s no sole hub, government, institution, etc. that is responsible for International Women’s Day. Also mentioned on the site is its history, which I thought were all pretty interesting. To give a brief overview of
- In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
- In 1909 the first National Women’s Day (NWD) was observed in the United States on February 28th in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.
- In 1910 Clara Zetkin, Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, suggested the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year, in every country, there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands.
- In 1913 International Women’s Day was transferred to March 8th and to this day has remained the global date for International Women’s Day ever since.
I really can’t believe I didn’t know about any of this until a few years ago. Which brings me to the point that more light should be brought to IWD because it’s important not only for young girls and women to know the date but everybody else, too.
It’s important because if we want gender parity around the world we need to bring the issue to the surface and continue to grow and inform others of the inequalities around the world and how we can change the whole system into something that is fair for everybody.