As you may already know, Women’s day is this Friday! However, it is too short-lived. At Offblak, we are celebrating Women’s Week. On the Offblog, we are talking about the origin of women’s day, why we celebrate it today and what is next.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a day to recognise all women for their achievements. Its establishment, fueled by activities of labour movements in the 1900s in North America, which travelled to Europe and was strengthened by the UN, has helped build a support system for women’s rights.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
1908: 15,000 women in NYC begin to march, demanding the right to vote, better wages and shorter working hours.
1909: The first official IWD occurs on 28th February. The day is dedicated to the previous garment workers’ strike by The Socialist Party of America.
1910: The leader of the women’s office in Germany’s Social Democratic party prompts the concept where each country celebrates women annually to help push their demands. The Socialist International then has a meeting in Copenhagen where 100+ women from 17 countries agree to the idea.
1911: On March 19th, people celebrate the first IWD ever in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where over 1,000 men and women attend rallies, demanding the right to vote, to hold public office, rights to work, rights to vocational training and to end discrimination in jobs.
1913-14: At this point, IWD is being celebrated on different days in different parts of the world. IWD also gives way to protest other concerning issues.
1975: The UN begins to celebrate IWD on 8th March.
2011: Barack Obama, former US president, declares ‘Women’s History Month’ to be celebrated in the month of March.
We continue to celebrate IWD, however, the reason is not so positive. We still celebrate this day because the original aims have yet to be fulfilled. We are all still fighting to achieve full gender equality in our world:
- The wage gap still continues to exist worldwide. The World Economic Forum reports that the wage gap may not even out until 2186! (Fun Fact: Due to the wage gap, from November 10th until year end of 2018, women worked “for free”. Ladies, you might as well just take that time off).
- Representation of women in terms of numbers across business or politics is still not equal.
- Women still have it worse in terms of education, health and violence towards them.
Conclusively, it seems it will take somewhere around 100 years before we can finally have global equality.
On another note, women are making huge steps forward in the workplace; they are strong leaders, innovators and are earning more money than ever before. We are slowly forcing closed the gaps between men and women. However, there is still a long way to go. We still continue to step our best foot forward to celebrate IWD and march for women’s rights. The UN still creates a theme for IWD every year and IWD continues to be celebrated. This year’s theme is #BalanceForBetter; this year we are seeing a push in the right direction towards supporting professional and social equality; to see an equal number of men and women in the boardroom, in the media and in their paychecks.
Ideas on how to celebrate this year’s IWD theme? Have some friends over, drink some tea and think about setting small, manageable and measurable goals that you could work on during the year in order to contribute to closing that gap shut, in the workplace and in everyday life.
Women are making 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. Think of how much FULLY CHARGED TEA they could be buying that they are missing out on! #BalanceForBetter.