International Women’s Day (IWD), is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. IWD was celebrated officially on Sunday, March 8, 2009, so this post is a day late but, in light of the worthiness of the topic, timely nonetheless. Making it even more timely is the fact that March is “Women’s History Month” in the U.S.
To celebrate, many global organizations host internal events, as well as support external ones. For example, Google changes its logo on its global search pages.
The International Women’s Day website provides a free service to women around the world wanting to share and promote their IWD activity, videos, opinions and ideas. The site offers the following summary as a backdrop for this important date:
The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.