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International Women’s Day: We’ve Come A Long Way…

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“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”  Mae Jemison, astronaut

International Women's Day: We've Come A Long Way...

The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty: Women have always fought for equality in some shape or form; we’ve struggled for the right to fend for our families and contribute to society and we’ve come a long way. As we celebrate another International Women’s Day, it is imperative that we remember all those women around the world who still live under oppressive conditions and governments. If we believe barriers are meant to be broken, we will eventually break them. We can support Million Moms global giving  initiative. Below, I have pulled together information from three key areas and offered a few snippets from each area. There is more to read and learn. The links to the original article is included for your perusal. Also review USAID’s stats in: Why Invest in Women?

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

“I am prepared to sacrifice every so-called privilege I possess in order to have a few rights.” Inez Milholland, Suffragist 1909

International Women's Day: We've Come A Long Way...

Red text reads: The 8th of March: A day of rebellion by working women against kitchen slavery. Grey text  reads: Say NO to the oppression and vacuity of household work!

In the 100+ years that women have demonstrated for freedom and demanded the right to equal treatment, one thing has been important to the cause – maintaining a united front. Without the cohesive effort of women who believed there was merit in pursuing the collective vision of equal opportunity and freedom, we would still be chattel. While we enjoy our privileges, let’s not forget our rights and the rights of our fellow women worldwide.

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
Oxfam America wants us to celebrate “inspiring women in their lives by sending a free International Women’s Day e-Card or honoring a woman whose efforts make a difference in the fight against hunger and poverty with Oxfam’s International Women’s Day award.”                                                                    More below. 😉

“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.” Roseanne Barr

International Women's Day: We've Come A Long Way...

Change doesn’t always come easily; even when we are open to it. Sometimes, we must stand up and fight for our beliefs, our rights and our children’s legacy. Without effort, much is missed and things might never fully change. The historical uprisings led by women against oppression benefited us. We can do our bit… What are your thoughts?

Uprisings led by women
18th Century food riots in Europe and the Americas
In October 1789, Parisian market women held food riots on The Women’s March on Versailles and women in the countryside held counter-revolutionary protests during the French Revolution
The suffragette movement and Women’s protests for the right to vote 1872 in UK, 1848 in US and continuing around the world into the 20th century
In 1917, female workers in Petrograd, Russia spread the idea of a general strike on 8 March, International Women’s Day
Colonial revolts – Igbo Women’s War fight British tax collection in Nigeria in 1929.
The revived feminist movement and the bus boycotts during the civil rights movement in the 1960s saw female activism rise again

♥What are your thoughts? Do you celebrate International Women’s Day? How do you view the women’s movement? What memories do you have changes in women’s lives? Do share! ♥Happy ♥International ♥Women’s Day ♥To ♥You! 🙂 Thank you. 😉

*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience! 🙂

Positive Motivation Tip: Women have always striven to fend for their families and contribute to society and we’ve come a long way. Barriers are meant to be broken. Press on. Reach for the stars…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Votes for women, 8 Marta in Russia, March on Versailles, via Wikipedia Or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

51 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/03/2012 1:32 am

    The world thinks of ensuring that girls and women have education and rights is just nice for females, however the truth is there is now lots of evidence that educating girls and giving women equal rights has a huge impact on the society in general – from food security to economic development. Great post.

    • 09/03/2012 2:50 pm

      TY! I agree… We all benefit from open doors and equal opportunities to succeed or fail. Sadly, in many societies, some doors remain firmly shut. 🙂

  2. 09/03/2012 1:48 am

    It never fails to dumbfound me that in this day and age this still need to be a topic of conversation. When will men realise that we are all the same. We don’t have the right to dictate conditions for women any more than for another man. It’s backward and primitive to believe that women are in any way inferior. Many studies have also shown that educated, empowered women help to reduce population growth, something our planet desperately needs. One day soon I hope this kind of conversation will be superfluous and redundant. Here’s a quote from my late mum: ‘Wanting to be equal to men shows a distinct lack of ambition.’ 🙂

    • 09/03/2012 2:54 pm

      TY Stu! Sadly, it remains an important topic of conversation and we can see the dynamic even in some of the recent conversations in the US. I like your mom’s saying and as an affirmed feminist thinker, I don’t want to be equal to a man but have an equal opportunity to participate in the playing field… a clear distinction that many women wish for. I appreciate your feedback and I agree with you that this topic should one day be redundant… I don’t see that day coming anytime soon. 🙂

  3. 09/03/2012 3:42 am

    I like Stu’s mum’s quote. I am all for women’s rights, but I am NOT for women being just like men in order to be accepted.

    In the year 2012 we still have inequality, and women are still allowing men to conquer them by keeping our gender divided.

    Women flock to certain political party to stop abortion, only to recently learn this party also wants to take away the right to contraception.

    Women are still slaves to the fashion and beauty industries.

    Many young women still see marriage as an important step to having a successful life.

    And we still are outnumbered in positions of leadership, including government.

    Yet, ironically, both political parties are looking to women to possibly sway the upcoming presidential election in the US.

    We’ve got to find a way to convince women that we don’t have to continue to see this as a man’s world. We can be who and what we are, as Stu’s mum said, without being ashamed of that.

    Sorry for the rambling, but as a “woman of a certain age,” I am quite disillusioned with how the US society continues to treat women.

    • 09/03/2012 5:23 am

      I’m with you rumpydog! And my mum was a wise woman. 🙂

    • 09/03/2012 2:57 pm

      TY Rumpydog. Personally, I don’t know any women who want to be like men… but I get your point. You are right, it is disheartening to see the divisions and confusions and I’d love to see a woman President in the USA someday. Now that would be exciting. 🙂

  4. 09/03/2012 3:44 am

    We’ve come a long way in the Western world. But women have centuries of abuse to overcome in the middle east.

    • 10/03/2012 1:35 am

      TY Freedom! There is a great need to grow everywhere in our world today. Some might seem in need of it more, but all is not as we imagine it… 😉

  5. 09/03/2012 3:55 am

    Amazing how far women have come, and how far we still have to go!

    • 10/03/2012 1:36 am

      Yes, the struggle continues everywhere. TY! 🙂

  6. 09/03/2012 3:58 am

    Reblogged this on newfoundlandtraveller.

  7. 09/03/2012 5:18 am

    Reblogged this on Honoring Your Good Life and commented:
    Good day to remember how far we’ve come and how much more we can still do.

    • 09/03/2012 2:58 pm

      TY too Karen. I appreciate the re-blog! 🙂

  8. 09/03/2012 5:22 am

    Happy woman’s day. I cerebrated it because this is first for me.

    • 10/03/2012 1:37 am

      TY Coco! Glad you celebrated with your family… 🙂

  9. 09/03/2012 7:05 am

    We have come a long way but there are others who are looking to take us backwards. It’s a sad state of affairs. We need to fight to keep what we have.

    • 10/03/2012 1:37 am

      It sure is a sad state of affairs. We imagine ourselves free in the West, but if we are not vigilant we could be back in the dark ages… 🙁

  10. 09/03/2012 7:22 am

    Nice work! Great world history line.

    • 10/03/2012 1:38 am

      TY! PH! It was a learning experience for me too and a wonderful reminder that we have accomplished plenty and the journey continues. TY! 🙂

  11. 09/03/2012 9:37 am

    This is such a sore subject for me at the moment. With many still wanting to take us back to the dark ages here in the U.S. in 2012 it disgusts me to know how tenuous the battles we thought were won are. I shared a sign on facebook yesterday that pretty much sums it up for me… ‘I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit!’

    • 10/03/2012 1:40 am

      Yes… I hear you. It is truly sad that a man can still casually call a woman a slut and whore on the radio without blinking… TY! 🙁

  12. 09/03/2012 9:54 am

    We have come a far way but the road hasnt stopped. There is no better example than india to show what woman empowerment can do to the society. We have so many model villages stories where the movement was lead by woman. The importance of equality cannot be stressed and it is very important for everyone to realize this

    • 10/03/2012 1:41 am

      Yes, there is progress around the world and women make enormous effort under stressful conditions. TY! 🙂

  13. 09/03/2012 10:27 am

    nominating you for thevery inspiring blogger award

    • 09/03/2012 12:52 pm

      TY so much Zendictive! I am honored by the award and will stop by your blog to thank you for it too! 😉

  14. 09/03/2012 11:45 am

    Hey, thanks for sharing the timeline. You know, Eliz. I’ve lived the Woman’s Movement back in the early 70s when we tried to gain equal pay in management at Verizon (then Bell Telephone). We were paid less!!! Once they instituted merit pay, did the company finally start us all on the same level of pay–but it was several years later.

    • 10/03/2012 1:43 am

      Sure and I bet that in some companies, they overrode merit pay with different types of bonuses for employees. Today, women still earn less than men so while things have improved, the struggle continues. TY! 🙂

  15. 09/03/2012 11:14 pm

    I still hold a belief that women worldwide – if we organize in some way- can end war. Completely. I can envision it happening in my lifetime. Someday!

    • 10/03/2012 1:45 am

      I agree and they have ended war in many parts of the world. PBS had a wonderful documentary a few months ago on women and war and the strategic approaches women used to overcome the adversities of war and bring about change… We are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for.. 😉

  16. 10/03/2012 12:26 am

    Fabulous timelines! Lots of good research here, Elizabeth! Debra

  17. 10/03/2012 9:13 am

    i agree! great post, thanks Elizabeth.

  18. 10/03/2012 9:15 am

    The posters you added really emphasizes the fact that we have come so far over history. Maybe one day, there will be equality Worldwide. Wouldn’t that be something?

  19. 10/03/2012 8:01 pm

    We’ve come a long way . . . and have miles to go before we sleep. Here’s to Liberty, Equality, and Sorority! 😉

  20. 12/03/2012 3:02 am

    I like
    your womens_march_on_versailles painting
    greetings by flickrcomments

    • 12/03/2012 1:18 pm

      TY Frizztext… I love it too and the posters as well. 🙂

  21. 12/03/2012 2:03 pm

    If it had not been for all those countless brave women surging forth to obtain all our present day rights, I would not be sitting where I am right now! So I totally celebrate InternationalWomen’sDay, on and on!

  22. 19/03/2012 8:01 am

    Your motivational tip is timely. We don’t discover ourselves, but create our reality. Sometimes I need to be reminded of that. Thanks! Miriam


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