International Women’s Day is just around the corner!
Posted by egehl on February 29, 2012
International Women’s Day is just around the corner and will be celebrated this year on March 8th!
International Women’s Day was first observed in the early 1900’s in an effort to draw global attention to the fight for women’s equality and rights to work, vote, hold public office, and to ultimately end gender discrimination. In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating March 8th as International Women’s Day. Each year a theme is chosen and this year’s theme is “Empower Rural Women-End Hunger and Poverty”.
For women around the world, the day symbolizes an opportunity to reflect on the strides they have made and to call on new generations of women to participate in the work of making our world more gender equitable. It’s an occasion to review how far women have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development, and an opportunity to unite, network and mobilize for meaningful change in the future.
There are many ways to honor and participate in International Women’s Day. Personally, I support the day as a Women for Women International sponsor and donor.
I’ve sponsored 7 women survivors of war who have participated in a year-long program run by Women for Women International that educates and empowers them to improve their economic, personal, and social opportunities. I have enjoyed playing a small role in supporting women internationally so that more doors are open to them to not only better their lives, but the lives of their families. As a woman who has been given so many luxuries and privileges over my lifetime, I feel that it’s important that women around the world have the chance to access the same opportunities. Women for Women International will be celebrating International Women’s Day by participating in the third annual Women in the World Summit held in New York City.
There are a variety of activities happening here and around the world in honor of International Women’s Day. Over 1,000 events have been registered on the International Women’s Day website. Thus far, the United States and the UK have the most events planned.
There is also still time to plan your own event! For example, Women’s World Banking has put together a toolkit on how to organize an event on or around March 8th. No event is too small and they can range from hosting a tea, attending a lecture, or participating in a benefit walk. Women’s World Banking is a micro-finance network working to help women around the globe become full participants in the economies of their countries. Learn more about the organization and view a copy of their International Women’s Day toolkit to gain ideas on what to do this year.
I think the most important thing about International Women’s Day is that in addition to the equity struggles we continue to experience here at home, we need to remember the plight of women abroad who have the same needs, goals and desires as us. However unfortunately often times they face greater barriers to achieve them. Therefore due to our unique position in the world as American women we should take active steps to support them. You can start by participating in an International Women’s Day event in your community.