GA would like to take a moment to share some history of the day, how we all might get involved in the fight for gender equity around the globe and an opinion piece shared by an au pair currently on program from Germany. Happy International Women’s Day!
International Women’s Day timeline and why we celebrate it, click on link for the full history:
1908: there was a lot of unrest and debate amongst women regarding women’s oppression and inequality. 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
1909: The first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on February 28. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.
1910Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled 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. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs – and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament – greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named
1911Bread and Roses campaign.Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in Denmark in 1911, International Women’s Day was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on March 25, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1911 also saw women’s
1975International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975.
The UN announced their first annual theme “Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future” which was followed in 1997 with “Women at the Peace table”, in 1998 with “Women and Human Rights”, in 1999 with “World Free of Violence Against Women”, and so on each year until the current.
The internationalwomensday.com platform was launched with the specific purpose of re-energizing the day – a focus which continues to this day – celebrating and making visible the achievements of women while continuing the call for accelerating gender parity.
20112011 saw the 100 year centenary of International Women’s Day – with the first IWD event held exactly 100 years ago in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the United States, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 to be “Women’s History Month”, calling Americans to mark IWD by reflecting on “the extraordinary accomplishments of women” in shaping the country’s history. The then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the “100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges”. In the United Kingdom, celebrity activist Annie Lennox lead a march across one of London’s iconic bridges raising awareness in support for global charity Women for Women International.
2021 and beyond:
“Make a difference, think globally and act locally!Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.”
“I won’t be remembered as a woman who keeps her mouth shut. I’m okay with that” -unknown
Women have been told way too often to be silent because people specifically men shared the opinion that women are the weaker gender and their opinion does not value as much as theirs. We are living in the 21st century and one could have assumed that men and women are at least in some parts of the world equally treated. Unfortunately we are living in a mostly men ruled world. Men can be found in every single high position in work life but women are still missing. I truly believe that everywhere where decisions are made women should be part of it the way men have always been.
I am aware that openly admitting to be a feminist could cause hate, to be not taken serious and people thinking one only wants to seek attention. I have often heard men thinking that feminist hate men but it is not at all about hating men. Women just want the same rights as men, we never wanted a special treatment. It means nothing less and nothing more than equality. Everyone can be and everyone should be a feminist if you are for equality.
Women are scared when walking home alone at night with their keys between their fingers because it has been enough men to be scared of every single one especially when it is dark outside.
Women have to deal with specific question during job interviews for example if they are having kids or if they are planning to get kids in the near future. Those questions are just another proof that women are reduced by outdated stereotypes because if a man can have family and be successful in his job why can’t a woman?
Women are still paid less than men for the exact same work in every part of the world.
I recently stumbled upon a convention which should have taken place in May 2020 but was canceled due to Covid. The convention gained publicity with the name “make women great again”. Not only that the name is totally hilarious but the actual reason for the convention is rather frightening. It is a convention organized by men who are unable to deal with women fighting for equal rights and try to force women to concentrate on cooking, child care and to revive their femininity. One of their statements was “Women today are being taught to act like men. No longer will you have to give in to toxic bullying feminist dogma and go against your ancient, biological nature as a woman, the men have arrived to help. #makewomengreatagain”. They are honestly convinced that feminism is about hating men because of that they claim that it is easier to be a woman nowadays than being a man. I have to admit that I think it is shocking and I am sure that there are uncountable woman who have something to say against that.
How is it possible to plan such a convention and actually make it happen? This is a clear sign that gender inequality is still an ongoing issue women have to face every single day.
And just for the record we are already great!
So don’t just sit there and say that women exaggerate without ever being one because even as a girl we had to proof over and over again that we are capable of doing the same things as boys our age and even more. As a girl we were judged and sexualized by the things we were wearing but no-one started teaching boys that a girl should not be reduced by her body or the things she wears she should be respected and accepted like boys are. For what reason are there still dress codes for girls at schools? They say short shorts our a tank top are distracting and again girls/women are reduced by their bodies. When people say she is too young to wear it, when you think that way then she is too young to be sexualized for it. It has to immediately stop a girl and women should be allowed to wear what ever they want to without being told that their body is distracting because this is not our responsibility. If a boy/man can’t respect us the same way he has to be the one facing consequences and not us.
I am woman, I am fearless
I am sexy and Devine
I’m unbeatable, I’m creative
I am feminine, I am masculine I am anything I want
( I AM WOMAN by Emmy Meli)