“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Margaret Mead
Timeline of women’s rights (other than voting)
1718 – Gender segregation banned in Russia, Taxpaying women allowed to vote in Sweden, Married women allowed to manage/own property in Pennsylvania
1829 – Sati is banned in India
1864 – Elementary schools for girls are opened in Haiti
1873 – Mothers in the UK are granted guardianship for children at divorce
1887 – Universities open to women in Mexico
1900 – A school for female teachers is opened in Egypt
1902 – Foot binding abolished in China.
1986 – Women in Djibouti can stand for election
2007 – Women can serve in combat roles in the New Zealand Defense Force
Today is International Women’s Day (IWD) and the theme for this year is – Inspiring Change. The premise for our 2014 IWD theme is that we still need to not only champion the social, political and economic achievements of women, but also, we need to continue to fight for women’s rights and changes globally. When I read about this year’s theme, what struck me was how far we’ve come and how much work remains in the struggle for Women’s equality in an unequal world. Even as more of us leave the home to go to work, our pay is still 77 cents for every dollar paid to our male colleagues, and, if we have children, our work day continues when we get home. In countries around the world, women are discouraged from getting an education, and early marriage and domestic abuse continues to rise.
Timeline of International Women’s Day
28 February 1909 – First observed on in the United States
18 March, 1911 – IWD was celebrated by over a million people in Europe
1913 - Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day October 1, 1949 - People’s Republic of China on the state council decided that March 8 would be made an official half day off holiday for women in China
1977 – International Women’s Day became a popular event when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.
March 8 2010 – International Women’s Day – the ICRC (Red Cross) drew attention to the hardship displaced women endure (refugees and others at war)
March 8 2011 – International Women’s Day – Celebrations took place in more than 100 countries on March 8, 2011 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day
March 8 2012 – The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty
The ICRC (Red Cross) called for more action to help the mothers and wives of of those missing during armed conflict
When I speak to groups of women, I hear the same answer; We want change. We want work and pay equity. We want an end to domestic/spousal abuse and an end to all forms of violence against women. We want representation in higher office and so called non-traditional fields. However, change is not the responsibility of a few. Change cannot happen in a vacuum. Each of us has a role to play and we can’t do it alone. We can work with organizations that help women and in our communities. What are you doing to empower other women and create change?