Skip to content

International Women’s Day: Inspiring Change

Spread the love

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Margaret Mead

International Women's Day: Inspiring Change

International Women’s Day: Inspiring Change

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director: International Women’s Day 2014

International Women’s Day Event on Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment

Timeline of International Women’s Day (IWD)
28 February 1909 – First observed in the USA as National Women’s Day in Chicago
August 1910 – Attendees at the International Women’s Conference in Denmark propose the idea
18 March, 1911 – IWD was celebrated by over a million people in Europe; right to vote, hold public office and end gender discrimination at work were key issues.
February 1913 – Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day. In 1917, it became official in the region.
March 1914 – International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time on Sunday, March 8, and this date has continued as the preferred/official day since.
October 1, 1949 – In the People’s Republic of China, 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 (marked by the UN since 1975), became a popular event when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the official 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) and has continued its call to end armed conflict.
March 8 2011 – International Women’s Day – Celebrations took place in more than 100 countries in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day
March 8 1996 -2014 –  Every year, the UN adopts a special theme  to focus attention on for International Women’s Day 2014 is Inspire Change. *See the rest below
Sources: UN Women Watch, International Women’s, Wikipedia

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), also known as International Working Women’s Day and the theme for this year is – Inspiring Change.  The premise for the 2014 IWD theme is that we still need to not only champion the social, political and economic achievements of women, but also to continue to fight for women’s rights and inspire change 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, the proverbial glass ceiling remains a barrier for women in the workplace. For most women with children, the work day continues when they get home. In countries around the world, women are discouraged from getting an education, and early marriage and domestic abuse continues to rise.

International Women's Day: Inspiring Change

International Women’s Day: Inspiring Change

Google: International Women’s Day Doodle 2014
International Women’s Day Doodle 2014

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

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?

A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” Melinda Gates

International Women's Day: Inspiring Change

International Women’s Day: Inspiring Change

Celebrating Working Women: International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day 2014 Theme: INSPIRING CHANGE
If we are to achieve progress for girls and women globally, we must all be actively engaged in working for equity in a number of important ways:

  • Educate ourselves and our children to set aside male/female roles and stereotypes.
  • Encourage our daughters to pursue all fields of interest and develop a curiosity for things outside the tradition.
  • Support other women and recruit, mentor, and promote qualified women on the job.
  • Support efforts to improve the lives/livelihood of Poor women, Single moms, Migrant women, Displaced women/refugees and all forms of oppression against women. Demand legislative action from your party representatives.
  • Vote to end Pay and other forms of gender inequity

Since 1996, the UN has adopted an Official theme for International Women’s Day UN. The goal is to increase awareness about important issues that impact women’s lives. The themes are:
1996 Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future
1997 Women and the Peace Table
1998 Women and Human Rights
1999 World Free of Violence Against Women
2000 Women Uniting for Peace
2001 Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts
2002 Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities
2003 Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals
2004 Women and HIV/AIDS
2005 Gender Equality Beyond 2005; Building a More Secure Future
2006 Women in Decision-making
2007 Ending Impunity for Violence Against Women and Girls
2008 Investing in Women and Girls
2009 Women and Men United to End Violence Against Women and Girls
2010 Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All
2011 Equal Access to Education, Training, and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women
2012 Empower Rural Women, End Poverty and Hunger
2013 A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women
2014 Inspiring Change

“Equal pay for work of equal value” should be a non-issue by now, yet it remains a constant complaint from women around the world. What other points would you add to the above? How can we work together to help build equity in our society and globally?

What are your thoughts? Did you celebrate International Women’s Day?  Do share! Happy International Women’s Day !  Thank you.

For More: Women’s Lives & Issues 

Positive Motivation Tip: Women can inspire change in each other by being supportive and applauding efforts made, and speaking out against oppressive behavior. Take a stand. Inspire.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos & Posters via or via Wikipedia Or Flickr

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

75 Comments leave one →
  1. 08/03/2014 5:45 pm

    Great work as ever !

  2. 09/03/2014 12:30 am

    Happy International Women’s Day, Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 09/03/2014 12:57 am

    Aha I posted for IWD too 🙂

  4. 09/03/2014 3:51 am

    I like the combination of information you selected for the special women’s day. Deana Wilmink-Martina

  5. 09/03/2014 2:28 pm

    Excellent post and well said Eliz! Thank you for writing it. 🙂

  6. Robin (Masshole Mommy) permalink
    09/03/2014 2:58 pm

    I actually hadn’t heard of this until this year. I didn’t do much to celebrate, but now that I know about it, I might try to plan for next year!

  7. 09/03/2014 4:01 pm

    I had missed the google doodle- so cute! IWD is so important.

  8. Mandy Young Carter permalink
    09/03/2014 5:18 pm

    Great information. I think that as far as we have come there still is alot left to go, even in the US. The double standards for many areas still exist. And I believe that gender specific careers,cartoons, toys, etc help contribute to what keeps us back.

  9. 09/03/2014 5:28 pm

    I didn’t know anything about this until yesterday. Happy International Womens Day but it should be everyday. We need much more than a day! 🙂

  10. Kim permalink
    09/03/2014 5:51 pm

    I wished I would have gotten more into this. I’ve been reading bits and pieces about it. Next year I will

  11. Chrysa Duran (@ThriftyJinxy) permalink
    09/03/2014 5:53 pm

    I’m glad that this day was instituted. It is a great day to promote and learn about women’s issues.

  12. aimee (@HouseofFaucis) permalink
    09/03/2014 6:29 pm

    I love the history of how far women have come. I think this is very powerful. I just wish.. not to be negative on a happy day, that women would come together and help one another instead of seemingly constantly trying to knock each other down. It can be sad.

    • 10/03/2014 7:43 am

      Aimee, I’m with you on that point. Sadly, some women seem to thrive on bashing each other or being mean for no logical reason but pettiness. We need more sincere support and collaborations.

  13. 09/03/2014 7:15 pm

    International Women’s Day was observed in the US BEFORE sufferage? That’s really surprising. I wonder how official it really was.

    • 10/03/2014 7:38 am

      Yes it was observed as National Women’s Day and then celebrated in collaboration with women in Europe. Interesting isn’t it?
      The US suffrage movement started long before it became a publicly known entity. Voting rights for women were granted to all in 1920
      From 1869–1920: Wyoming States and territories of the USA, progressively, starting with the Wyoming Territory in 1869 and the Utah Territory in 1870, though the latter was repealed by the Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887. Wyoming acquired statehood in 1890 (Utah in 1896), allowing women to cast votes in federal elections. The United States as a whole acquired women’s suffrage in 1920 through the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; voting qualifications in the U.S., even in federal elections, are set by the states, and this amendment prohibited states from discriminating on the basis of sex.

  14. Melissa@sippycupmom permalink
    09/03/2014 7:15 pm

    WOW! What interesting facts! I love seeing how far women have come.

  15. 09/03/2014 7:32 pm

    Thank you so much for those timelines. Lots of great info I never knew!

  16. 09/03/2014 8:16 pm

    The google doodle made me smile today..I actually looked at it a couple times on purpose!

  17. 09/03/2014 8:20 pm

    It is awesome to look back on our past and see how far we have come. We still have many more hurdles to cross! Thank you for sharing.

  18. 10/03/2014 3:26 am

    Unfortunately, I didn’t celebrate International Women’s Day because I’ve never even heard of it until now! That’s crazy, huh!? 🙁 Some woman I am! ha! Thank you for educating me though! 🙂 Luckily, my employer is a more women-driven business! Most of our top managers and leaders are women! 🙂

  19. 10/03/2014 11:58 am

    it is crazy to think we still see discrimination today.We’ve made strides but nearly not enough

  20. 10/03/2014 12:54 pm

    Wow, IWD goes back a good number of years. I never heard of it so I never celebrated it. Thanks for the heads up!!

  21. 10/03/2014 1:20 pm

    I don’t celebrate this holiday, but looks like you did a ton of research! Good job and I hope you had a great women’s day 🙂

  22. 10/03/2014 1:59 pm

    We women absolutely deserve a day LOL I wish I would have celebrated it! Great post!

  23. Amy Desrosiers permalink
    10/03/2014 2:10 pm

    I don’t really consider myself to be a feminist by any means. I’m probably going against the train but I don’t really mind of guys get paid more.mi guess I take a more biblical approach in some senses.

  24. Scott (SAHM Reviews) permalink
    10/03/2014 2:10 pm

    I too had never heard of it until now, and can’t believe it’s been going on so long. Course, I’m a guy and usually forget Valentine’s Day too…

  25. Kim@Shop with Me Mama permalink
    10/03/2014 2:24 pm

    Awesome! I never knew all of this. Too cool!

  26. 10/03/2014 2:27 pm

    I didn’t know about it so I guess I didn’t do any celebrating. I think it’s a super cool thing though to celebrate our journey.

  27. 10/03/2014 2:40 pm

    I completely forgot that it was International Women’s Day until I saw a post earlier about it. That is always amazing celebrating the strides women have made and the great contribution we have made in this world

  28. 10/03/2014 3:48 pm

    This is a really great post! Lots of great information. I’m definitely going to bookmark this when I get home so that I can read it again and watch all the videos! Thank you!

  29. 10/03/2014 3:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! You have such great information in this post.

  30. Rachée Fagg (@sayitrahshay) permalink
    10/03/2014 4:06 pm

    Happy Belated International Women’s Day! I forgot to mark the occasion but have some ideas for next year.

  31. Jennifer@triplezmom permalink
    10/03/2014 4:37 pm

    I need to spend more time talking to my kids about this special day. Thank you for all the great info!

  32. 10/03/2014 6:17 pm

    Very informative! I had no idea on half of this stuff. Celebrating women is very important. I’m so glad you taught me something today!

  33. 10/03/2014 6:32 pm

    It’s funny that something that has been here for so many years but not everyone knew about it. I only found out about it a few years ago. Happy International Women’s day!

  34. 10/03/2014 6:50 pm

    My last job that I had outside the home, I worked there for many years. I got a promotion after several years and earning extra certificates and degrees. They hired a man with less experience, less certificates and less degrees and he was making more than I was. I quit and decided to stay home and not take it anymore. My boss was a woman and she should have done better.

  35. Sarah permalink
    10/03/2014 7:15 pm

    Thank you for such an informative post, I completely missed it this year – I must be more ready next year 🙂 x

  36. 10/03/2014 7:26 pm

    As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it is hard to believe that there are still places in the world where women are not treasured and valued.

  37. 10/03/2014 7:30 pm

    I think that women should be celebrated every single day of the year because we make the world go ’round.

  38. 10/03/2014 8:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! I love the theme and that you gave actionable steps so that we can actually work toward making further changes. We really have come a long way over the years!

  39. Ashley M permalink
    10/03/2014 8:45 pm

    This is a really inspiring post. Way to call attention to an awesome day.

  40. 10/03/2014 9:23 pm

    Great information! Thank you for sharing and hope you had a wonderful women’s day!

  41. 10/03/2014 11:35 pm

    An important day to observer and participate in not just in the US but all over the world.

  42. Aisha Kristine Chong permalink
    11/03/2014 3:28 am

    For some reason, this is actually the first time I heard of women’s day even in our country – I think last year it wasn’t given too much attention to it – at the very least – it wasn’t in our country – only lately. I didn’t really do any celebration myself but I appreciate the fact that the whole world has celebrated such an event. 🙂

  43. 11/03/2014 3:41 am

    I thought it was great that Google changed their home page for this! Great info.

  44. 11/03/2014 5:33 am

    Thanks for sharing. There’s so much amazing information about International Womens day that I learned this year. Looking forward to being part of it next year.

  45. 11/03/2014 7:56 am

    I learned a lot from this post. I recently found out about IWD, I have never heard of this day prior to this year.

  46. Valerie Gray (@valmg) permalink
    11/03/2014 8:13 am

    That’s a terrific quote you opened with, I love it. I believe that although it will be challenging, one person can make a difference.

  47. 11/03/2014 9:29 am

    The journey is interesting to look at and follow. I worked in a ‘man’s world’ when I first started my career many years ago, and I totally see huge differences. I’m happy to see them too. I think everyone deserves to be treated equally/fairly.

  48. Kristen permalink
    11/03/2014 11:37 am

    Women’s history was one of my favorite courses I took in college. It is important for women to celebrate how far we have come!

  49. Marni Mutrux (@marnimutrux) permalink
    11/03/2014 12:07 pm

    What a great, informational post. I’ll need to come back and visit a little longer to take it all in!

  50. Nicole permalink
    11/03/2014 12:33 pm

    I love that they have an international woman’s day, although I think we rock every day. This was a fantastic post with so many great resources!

  51. 11/03/2014 1:47 pm

    This year was the first time I’ve ever heard of it, but I love the celebration! Us women have come along way. There’s still work to do though, but we are getting there!

  52. Tiffany Cruz (@_TiffanyJCruz) permalink
    11/03/2014 3:49 pm

    Seeing posts like this makes me happy. Women rock and totally deserve a day.

  53. 12/03/2014 12:08 pm

    This is a great article. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. This is an inspiring article.

  54. 12/03/2014 8:43 pm

    I love to participate and promote women’s day and local activities. Though we’ve come a long way in our fight for equality, we still have a long way to go worldwide.

  55. 06/04/2014 6:40 pm

    I really think that it’s time for men and women to have equal rights.. especially in the work field.

  56. franc permalink
    06/04/2014 7:28 pm

    I am all for equality and through the various efforts launched during women’s day, we are nearing that already.

  57. Rochies (@iHeartSpills) permalink
    06/04/2014 9:27 pm

    People should be grateful to those who are promoting activities such as these and commemorating human rights and those folks who keep on advocating to stop stereotypes.

  58. Dominique Goh permalink
    07/04/2014 2:13 am

    Cool videos on International Women’s day..great to see so many women taking action and trying to make the world a better place for other women.

  59. marcusprolifik permalink
    07/04/2014 12:09 pm

    Very informative stuff! I never knew of this til I read you post. Awesome work!


  1. Motivation Mondays: International Women’s Day – #IWD2019 #BalanceforBetter #InnovateForChange | Mirth and Motivation
  2. Motivation Mondays: International Women’s Day #GenerationEquality #EachforEqual | Mirth and Motivation

Your Comment is Appreciated!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: