If you’re reading this from China, Armenia, Mongolia, or one of many countries that honor International Women’s Day (IWD) as a national holiday, enjoy your day off! Yes, it’s that big of a deal in some areas of the world…while many others are still struggling to attain what IWD was originally created to do—advocate equal rights for women.
Fortunately, thanks to historical strides like the 15,000 women who marched through New York in 1908, demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights, IWD is predominantly a celebration of women. This year, all over the world, there will be theatrical performances, poetry readings, songs, films and visual arts shows honoring and celebrating women and their accomplishments. And since it was founded in 1910 (by Clara Zetken, Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Economic Party in Germany), the amazing achievements of women continue to soar—
from becoming powerful political leaders to billionaire entrepreneurs (Spanx anyone?).
Whether you acknowledge IWD by donating to a cause (Kiva.org/women helps women obtain loans and invest in their futures), putting on red lipstick for the Rock the Lips campaign “to help women around the world create better lives,” or simply by appreciating the amazing women in your own life, this is a day of motivation and inspiration for everyone. IWD reminds us that we are all capable of reaching higher, doing better and making a positive difference in the world, regardless of our gender.
While IWD can be acknowledged with flowers (the symbol of the day) or free cupcakes (in England), many people view it as an opportunity to improve lives—not just for women, but for the world. The “Join Me on the Bridge” campaign for women’s equality started with Rwandan and Congolese women meeting on a bridge to join their two countries to demonstrate that women could build bridges of peace. This year, women will march on bridges in London, Boston, San Francisco, Toronto and New York.
“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.”
For more information on International Women’s Day, please click on the IWD logo above.photo credits: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/