Since 1911 we have been celebrating March 8th as International Women's Day. This date is commemorated at the United Nations and in many countries is considered a national holiday. As women come together to celebrate this day, they can look back to decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace, and development. It is the story of ordinary women as history makers. This year marks the centennial anniversary of the celebration.
Each year celebrates a particular theme (determined individually by each country). This year's theme in the United States is equal access to education, training, and technology: a pathway to decent work for women. This theme is a broad one because it truly spans all races and classes. There is a lot of meat to the discussions that need to be had. Ranging from the conversation around the ability for women to have careers just as powerful as men's to the fact that women deserve a living wage is just one peek into the vast discussion; two different yet important discussions.
Consider this from "Women's Day: A Historic Opportunity Unveiled," which adds current day perspective to the fact that even though in 1945, more than half a century ago, the signing of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco wrote women's equality into its canon, we still have a long way to go to attain that ideal.
However, 66 years later, women continue to struggle, far below the level of their male counterparts, in every single aspect of human society. Only 11 of the 192 heads of state are women; one in three women in the world will experience rape or sexual assault in her lifetime; and while performing two-thirds of the world's work, women own a mere one percent of the means of production.
Across the globe an array of special events will take place to mark the occasion. You can view events across the globe by country on the International Women's Day calendar. (View events in the United States.) Here's a small sampling of some of them:
- International Women's Day Bridge Walks with Women for Women International: Omega Institute and Women for Women International celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day with two bridge walks in New York.
- High-level debate: Goodbye to the IT girl: Why are young women deserting technology?
- Live celebrations from 10 cities across America simultaneously live-streamed to women in 176 countries.
- Women's Day Live! Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day sponsored by the Global Fund for Women
- CODEPINK Women for Peace
- International Labour Organization on the importance of including women in the economic recovery
If you know of events in your area or across the globe that you want to let others know about, please post them in the comments.
From The IWD 2011 Team: International Women's Day 2011 is one of the most marvelous days in history. Finally, not just activists and women's campaigners are voicing equality issues, but International Women's Day has finally attracted the full attention of the global mainstream. Thanks to some wonderfully and committed celebrities, the media, women and organizations all around the world, March 8, 2011, has turned a page in history.
Although some groups have tried to thwart the day and work of women, International Women's Day is big, historic and sustainable enough to continue regardless of such attempts. The recent denial-of-service attacks on the www.internationalwomensday.com website simply show that women need to band together and continue to maintain a strong voice. The mass marches and rallies, the celebratory events, girls in schools thinking about different perspectives -- all of this is pure magic. Today, an awareness of gender issues is thankfully reinforced in almost every country on the planet.
Paula Gregorowicz is the Intuitive Intelligence Coach and owner of The Paula G Company. She helps women discover and successfully create the work they are most meant to do by breaking free of the torture of trying to "figure it all out". Learn more and receive the free eCourse "5 Steps to Turn Your Fear into Freedom" at http://www.thepaulagcompany.com
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