Did you know 8th March annually marks International Women's Day around the world? I was very fortunate as a teen to go to a secondary school that placed a huge amount of importance on the day and that's something that has stuck with me as an adult. And while we may have come a long way in terms of equality since the first International Women's day in 1911, there is still a long way to go before we can say we've reached true parity between the sexes. For starters, spend half an hour on the internet as a woman and then tell me sexism is no longer an issue. Can't be done...
International Women's Day is important because-
It celebrates the achievements of women around the globe (and my goodness has there been a lot of those!)
It fundraises for important causes that affect women and supports female-centred charities.
It lobbies for equality for women and raises awareness of existing inequalities.
Some interesting International Women's day facts-
International Women's Day has existed in some form for over 100 years.
The United Nations has celebrated International Women's Day since 1975.
There is a different theme year for the United Nations to discuss. This year, the theme is 'Choose to Challenge'. Some themes from previous years have included; Women and the Peace Table, Investing in Women and Girls and, Equality for Women is Progress for All.
The official colours for International Women's Day are purple, green and white, taken from the Suffragettes. Purple for dignity and justice, green for hope and, now somewhat controversially, white for purity.
How is International Women's Day Celebrated Around the World?
How the day is celebrated varies widely across the world. In some countries International Women's day is a public holiday, while in others it is largely ignored. Many countries use the day to highlight the achievements of women throughout history, perhaps having this as a point of focus in schools or other public settings. For other countries, it is a day of protest and an opportunity to raise awareness of inequality and other issues affecting women.
My favourite International Women's Day Quotes
'Well behaved women rarely make history'- Eleanor Roosevelt
'We realise the importance of our voice when we are silenced'- Malala Yousafzai
'There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish'- Michelle Obama
And a special mention the the comedian Richard Herring who dedicates every 8th March replying to tweets from sexist trolls asking when International Men's Day is (eyeroll). It's 19th November in case you were wondering...