Today, March 8, is the internationally celebrated day when women are recognized for their achievements regardless to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.
And this year, the International Women’s Day comes to crown an unprecedented global movement for gender equality, diversity, and inclusion. Campaigns like #MeToo and #TimesUp gaining global support and resulting in counterparts around the world (e.g. #QuellaVoltaChe in Italy, #BalanceTonPorc in France, #Ana_kaman in the Arab States, #NiUnaMenos in Argentina) and the world marching together for the rights of women.
To only name two events from the last days: the 90th Academy Awards ceremony, aka the Oscars, to be remembered with Frances McDormand’s call for more inclusion rider clauses in Hollywood; and London’s march to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote in the United Kingdom, calling for gender equality and finishing what the suffragettes started.
And it was the suffragettes who inspired the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century to result in the first observation of the National Woman’s Day in the United States on 28 February 1909 in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions. Two years later and in order to build support for achieving universal suffrage and labour rights for women, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated by more than a million people across Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The 8th annual celebration went much further in, particularly, Russia where the large female-led anti-war demonstration demanding “bread and peace” sparked the Russian Revolution to result in the Czar’s abdication and the provisional Government granting women the right to vote, and to turn into a Russian national holiday.
Rosie the Riveter became the cultural icon of the women’s empowerment during the Word War II when women took on typically male jobs. The United Nations formed after the end of the war, and a year later its Commission on the Status of Women became the first global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to gender equality, to firstly celebrate the International Women’s Day in 1975, the International Women’s Year.
Today, 43 years later, the International Women’s Day 2018 campaign theme is #PressforProgress. And the Time to think, act and be gender inclusive is Now, as if we do not press for a change NOW but keep things as they are, it will take 217 years to close the gender gap, according to the latest World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report that benchmarks 144 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment.
How will you press for progress today? Get inspired by examples of positive behaviours.