International Women’s Day has been celebrated all over the world for around 100 years and falls on March 8th every year – Today!
The day brings together charities, women’s organisations and businesses celebrating with performances, talks, networking events and marches.
The theme this year for International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress and with the World Economic Forums’ Global Gender Gap Report showing that it will take over 200 years to close the gender parity gap, It’s more important than ever that we aim for progress.
Where did International Women’s Day originate?
The earliest date recorded was in New York, on February 28th, 1909, organised by the Socialist Party of America. A year later there was an International Women’s conference with a discussion of a force for International Women’s day each year inspired by the work demonstrated in New York.
It was later agreed that the International day would be a strategy to promote equal rights for women and women’s suffrage and in 1911, it was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany.
Then, in 1913, the date was set to March 8th and it has been celebrated on this day ever since, nearly all over the world.
Why do we and why should we celebrate International Women’s Day?
The original aim of International Women’s Day was to achieve gender equality for women, although some may suggest this has not been achieved, due to the pay gap that still exists in the workplace.
We should continue to encourage and empower the women around us using the platforms we have today like social media. For example, the #MeToo campaign that started on Twitter after the allegations against Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault scandals against fellow colleagues helped other victims speak out about their traumatic experiences.
Although, there have been huge improvements in the lives of women and families due to changes in law and all the work suffragettes did in the late 19th Century.
Alice Hawkins Suffragette tribute statue in Leicester
Alice Hawkins played a huge part in the rights of women today – the right to vote.
Born in 1863, Alice lived most of her life in Leicester and was determined to have an equal say in the democracy of the day. During the time fighting against the law, Hawkins was imprisoned five times!
Now, standing tall in Leicesters Market Square and reading “A sister for freedom” is the statue of Alice Hawkins, reminding the visitors and tourists exactly why they’re so privileged to be able to have their say and have their chance to vote.
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