Happy Women's Day!
International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8th, is a day to celebrate all the trials that women have faced and overcame throughout history. Struggles have included suffrage, equality, education, economics, home lives, reproductive rights, etc. The famous quote by G.D. Anderson perfectly describes International Women’s Day,
“Feminism isn't about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.”
International Women's Day Themes
Every year a theme is given for International Women’s Day. Two international organizations create themes for the celebration. The International Women’s Day organization proposed the campaign #EmbraceEquity, while the official theme by the United Nations is DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality. The UN’s goal is to celebrate women and girls who are “championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education (WeForum.org).”
The DigitAll theme is important and was chosen because technology is essential to every aspect of our world today. We work, learn, communicate, educate, socialize, etc. through the internet. UNESCO statistics show that women are four times less likely to have advanced information and communications technology skills, and represent less than 20% of the tech force (UNESCO.org). Historically speaking, women are less likely to be a part of careers that are science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based.
The EmbraceEquity theme is important as it is a movement geared towards inclusion for all. By definition, the theme means to willingly accept and create an inclusive world. Equity and equality are two different things. “Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome (InternationalWomen’sDay.com).” If we focus on equity rather than equality, we give each individual person the help needed to succeed. Rather than giving everyone the same help. Equity is how women can make a difference to reach the high ranks and succeed in society today.
History of National Women’s Day in the United States
The celebration of Women’s Day dates back to May 1908 in Chicago, Illinois. This first celebration was hosted by the United States Socialist Party and brought together 1,500 women demanding economic and political equality. The next year, this celebration was held in New York and inspired European Socialists to also hold similar celebrations.
At the International Women’s Conference in August of 1910, German Socialists Luis Zietz and Clara Zetkin proposed the formal worldwide adoption of International Women’s Day in order to promote equal rights for women, including the ability to vote.
Thus, International Women’s Day was born.
Why We Celebrate
International Women's Day is a celebration supporting the accomplishments and rights of women worldwide. According to the United Nation's Commission of Women, adult and child females are more likely to experience hunger, be illiterate, be jobless or work low-wage jobs, experience domestic violence, and suffer from HIV.
Women have stood in the shadow of men for decades, denied basic rights such as literacy, food, and the ability to vote. While the United States may have made dramatic progress over the years, there are still millions of women across the world that remain stifled. We must stand up for all women, until every woman has a fair chance of success.