March is women’s month. It is the month in which a day was picked and dedicated to focusing, discussion, conversing and talking about gender equality, its impact in society and how it can be achieved. What do you know about the International Women’s Day celebration that is observed globally? How did it come to being? Why was it considered important enough to be mandated by the UN?
Follow me as we talk a walk down memory lane.
March 8th is celebrated as International Women’s Day all over the world. It is a day specifically set aside to celebrate the achievements, challenges, and struggles of women and an opportunity to reflect on, and further the push towards gender parity.
On 8th March 1908, 15,000 women marched in New York city to demand for shorter work hours, better pay and women’s right to vote. The socialist party of America marked the anniversary of the march and declared it the first international women’s day a year later.
In 1910 Clara Zetkin addressed the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen suggesting that the event be made international. All 100 women in attendance unanimously supported the idea.
The first globally recognized International Women’s Day was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States in 1911.
It remained a stand-alone event until 1975, when the United Nations began marking the day and organizing celebrations.
And in 1996 the UN began issuing a theme for each year’s celebration, the first of which was “Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future”.And subsequently each year’s celebration had a theme. For example, the theme for IWD 2018 was ‘I am Generation Equality’. 2019 was Think equal, build smart & innovate for change”. 2020 was “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. 2021 was chose to challenge and 2022 ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” #Break the Bias’
WHAT IS BIAS?
Bias is the inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair’ Bias, whether deliberate or unconscious, makes it difficult for women to move ahead much less make progress.
However, being aware that this bias exists isn’t enough to mitigate it, action is needed to level the playing field. And that is why this year’s IWD focus is advocating for actively calling out gender bias, discrimination and stereotype each time you see or experience it.
And this, is a collective responsibility.
What are you doing to #breakthebias that women have suffered for centuries?
What are you doing differently?