International Women’s Day is a day that’s set aside to acknowledge the accomplishments of women around the world. It offers a chance to shine a light on how women have made a difference in the world throughout history. It’s held annually on March 8 and celebrated by women of all ages and backgrounds. The focus is often on uniting for women’s rights and gender equality. While International Women’s Day is an official holiday in the United States, it’s widely celebrated in some countries unofficially.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is “I am Generation Equality” with #EachforEqual used on social media. Let’s take a closer look at this holiday to get a better understanding of why it was established and how women unite to combat prejudice.
About International Women’s Day
Unfortunately, women don’t always receive the recognition deserved for their professional accomplishments and this is the case across industries. This isn’t something new, which is made clear by the issue of gender parity. Specifically, there continues to be inequality in the amount of money earned by women when compared to men that perform the same work. Women have historically earned less pay for equal work and progression in this area has been slow, even halted at times. International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to shine a light on this issue so the policymakers are forced to acknowledge and hopefully address the problem.
What’s wonderful about International Women’s Day in recent years is that social media has facilitated a higher level of awareness. Although there have been similar events and related activities for more than 100 years, there has been a tremendous increase in participation by women around the world. During this time, there is reflection on what has occurred in the past and what is occurring today. While progress has been made, there is also a clear need for continued advocacy because many barriers still remain.
International Women’s Day was once National Woman’s Day, which was born out of the Socialist Party of America back in 1909. In fact, this was the year that 15,000 women protested in New York because they were unable to vote, earned low pay and worked a tremendous number of hours. This event went from national to international in 1911 when the events scheduled started to expand around the globe. The issues surrounding women’s rights were stark in Russia in 1913 because there was a limited amount of food to eat and the government didn’t step in to help, despite the problem arising from war.
While a lot has changed over the decades since the event went international, what has not changed is the mindset of some people that are simply unwilling to acknowledge the bias related to gender. This is the very reason why International Women’s Day must remain a priority.
How Women Around the World Participate
There are many ways in which women around the world participate in International Women’s Day. Some find local events to attend, such is festivals, conferences and exhibitions. There are a wealth of opportunities when it comes to taking part in festivities to support International Women’s Day. Many of them are organized buy nonprofit organizations, corporations and political entities. If you’re interested in participating in events to help women combat prejudice, you can always visit the International Women’s Day website for a list of activities and events.
Because not everyone can attend an event, there are other ways to participate. For instance, you can wear the color purple on March 8, which symbolizes dignity and justice, which is ideal as it aligns with the mission of International Women’s Day. Another way that you can participate is by promoting International Women’s Day on social media using either #EachforEqual or #IWD2020. If you choose to wear the color purple, that will be the perfect opportunity to take a selfie and share the message of gender equality online.
In some countries, this day is celebrated by men who honor the women in their lives, such as their wives, mothers, significant others and colleagues. In other words, this isn’t just a day that should be celebrated by women, it’s a day that should be celebrated by everyone.