International Womens Day
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements – from the political to the social – while calling for gender equality.
It has been observed since the early 1900s and is now recognised each year on March 8. It is not affiliated with any one group, but brings together governments, women's organisations, corporations, charities and all women around the world. The day is marked around the world with arts performances, talks, rallies, networking events, conferences, marches, social media campaigns and much more
But how did the celebratory day begin – and what are women uniting against this year?
How did it start?
It’s difficult to say exactly when IWD (as it’s known) began. Its can be traced to 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding voting rights, better pay and shorter working hours.
A year later, the first National Woman’s Day was observed in the US on February 28, in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.
In 1910, a woman called Clara Zetkin – leader of the ‘women’s office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany – tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She suggested that every country should celebrate women on one day every year to push for their demands.
A conference of more than 100 women from 17 countries agreed to her suggestion and IWD was formed. In 1911, it was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19.
In 1913, it was decided to transfer IWD to March 8, and it has been celebrated on that day ever since. The day was only recognised by the United Nations in 1975, but ever since it has created a theme each year for the celebration.
In 2011, former US President Barack Obama proclaimed March to be ‘Women’s History Month’.
Why do we still celebrate it?
Simply, because the original aim – to achieve full gender equality for women the world – has still not been realised. A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Figures show that globally, women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men.
According to the World Economic Forum, the gender gap won't close until 2186. On IWD, women across the world come together to force the world to recognise these inequalities – while also celebrating the achievements of women who have overcome these barriers.
According to a 2017 report by the World Economic Forum, it could still take another 100 years before the global equality gap between men and women disappears entirely.
For 2019 the theme is #balanceforbetter.
The future is exciting. Let's build a gender-balanced world. Everyone has a part to play - all the time, everywhere.
From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence.
Balance drives a better working world, let’s get together and celebrate our strengths and ensure our voices are heard on this magnificent day!!
Let's all help create a #BalanceforBetter.
Here is what our AMAZING Powerher ambassadors feel about being a women and international women's day!!!
What does international women’s day mean to me?
To me, International Women’s Day means so much!
In fact, I LOVE being a woman! I love the freedom we have to embrace who we are!
This is a day to celebrate womanhood for all it’s worth.
All the wins, all the hardships and all the accomplishments too.
Once upon a time, women were deemed inferior to males but now we celebrate equality and the continual push for equality. So, I feel as though international women’s day is a beautifully innocent day to celebrate all the Grandmothers, Mothers, and Daughters.
A daughter is her father’s joy and her mother’s treasure because she quickens the heart. As the potential carrier and bearer of life, she is human wealth. Daughters are the feminine form, which embodies love, beauty, hope, and tenderness. A daughter is smiles, hugs, and laughter. She is a seeker of truth who asks many questions, longing to know who she is. She is a friend and comfort in your latter years. A daughter is like a priceless pearl.
I have found mothers to be those who lay down life to bring forth life—whether this is by way of natural childbirth, adoptions, or rescue. I have found mothers to be advocates for children and change, protectors, nurturers, and healers of sick children. They are the ones who respond to a child’s cry in the night. They grow into masters at multitasking. A mother is one who feeds and sustains life with warmth and what beauty she finds. She is a wiper of tears, calmer of fears, tender of injuries, instructor, teacher, friend, and confidant who gives advice whether you ask for it or not!
I have found grandmothers can be the amazing ones who know and love. They are the “yes” to whatever you ask. They wear soft smiles and give even softer hugs. They are the guardians of perspective, secrets, and insight. They listen and pray as they watch over their children near and far. Grandmothers no longer ask who they are because they have discovered why they are.
What a beautiful day to celebrate being a woman.
Why I love being a woman in this world, is not really a question I have ever asked myself!
But now that I think of it, being a woman with divine femininity, soft nature, a complex mind, and a strong heart, is something very beautiful and very powerful.
Since being a little bit older now and a little bit wiser (and with some life experience behind me!), I see that being a woman today in this world at present is of something pretty special! To see women around me rise up, inspire each other and lift each other up is something I am so happy to be a part of! The way women used to be viewed in society as well as treated, was definitely not ok and I am so grateful those times have changed and are even still changing for the better to this present day.
International Women's Day sends a powerful message for us to power together, be there for each other, celebrate each other's wins and help motivate, as well as inspire each other!
After all, shouldn't that be what being a woman is all about?
What does international women’s day mean to me? let me tell you something…. There has been times in my life where I didn’t think I was enough, I didn’t feel like I had a voice, I didn’t feel loved, or strong or powerful. I felt undervalued, I felt weak, I felt sad and alone.
This day to me is about celebrating these hardships and embracing who I am and where I came from and how I got to be the woman I am today!! I am fortunate enough to have a voice and to be able to be myself. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by many strong women who inspire me daily and I am fortunate enough to witness the changes we need!! It is a celebration of the range of women’s roles in the world: mother, daughter, sister, lover, worker and friend. But also the opportunity for the world to focus on the challenges women still face in the world.
So International Women’s Day is an opportunity to highlight the great things women do, but also to create a space for a balanced debate on women’s issues and bridging that gap.
I truly believe we need to stand together and accept each other and celebrate not only our strengths, but what our weaknesses are to grow and flourish!
I love being a woman because, Without women the world stops. We have the ability to raise children alone off sheer love, determination and instinct. even when all is falling apart we have a strength inside us that will never give up. its a love only a mother can harbour. I love that we have a voice now. We band together to fight for our rights and this power has given us so many more freedoms and opportunities in life.