INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
International Women’s Day on March 8th each year celebrates the social, economic, and political achievements of women around the world. The day also brings international awareness to gender parity. According to the World Economic Forum, global gender equality is estimated to be achieved by 2133.
Gender equality is the equal access to the same rights and opportunities regardless of gender. These rights and opportunities include:
- employment / economic gain
- protection under the law
- right to vote
- free from violence
Striving for Change
Holding Political Office
Just over 100 years ago, only .2 % of the United States Congress consisted of women. Actually, the 65th Congress was comprised of a single woman. In 1916, Montana elected Republican Jeannette Rankin as the first Congresswoman to hold a federal office. Fast forward to the year 2020 and women hold 23.7% of the U.S. Congressional seats. While that might seem like progress, according to United Nations statistics, the U.S. percentage matches exactly the worldwide average for women in political office.
In many parts of the world, women are less likely to own land, a business, or attend school. Education alone is a powerful tool leading to financial independence for women. Their children reap the rewards, often for generations to come. Additionally, when the women of a community prosper, so does the community. Educated women and girls are more likely to educate their offspring. They also have a better understanding of healthcare and understand their rights.
According to the United Nations, more than half of the world’s poorest people are women. International Women’s Day strives to bring economic power to women who are not allowed to work for pay or work for low wages. And despite strides in industrialized countries, there is still work to do there, too.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalWomensDay
Around the world, organizations, communities, and individuals organize events focused on the mission of gender parity, celebrating the achievements of women worldwide and education.
- Attend a lecture, seminar, or festival.
- Organize an event.
- Speak or perform at a local fundraiser.
- Participate in a march for women’s equal rights.
- Learn about the women who paved the way for many of the rights and freedoms we have today.
- Become involved in your local, state, or national political system.
- Invite others to join you, including other women, sons, brothers, sisters, and daughters.
- Share your job skills at a local career fair.
- Celebrate all month long. It is also National Women’s History Month.
Use #InternationalWomensDay when posting on Social Media.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY HISTORY
International Women’s Day origins can be traced back to the early 1900s when women became more politically active. They took an invested and vocal role in steering their course toward voting rights, fair pay, improved working conditions, and representation under the law.
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March 8th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
The New York Stock and Exchange Board is formed. In 1863, the name would be changed to the New York Stock Exchanged. The Exchange originated at 68 Wall Street and can be found today at 18 Broad Street and the corner of Wall Street.
Susan B. Anthony spoke before the House Judiciary Committee in support of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote. Sixteen years before, legislators had first introduced federal legislation to amend the Constitution for women’s suffrage. In 1919, the 19th Amendment passed and was ratified, 13 years after Anthony’s death.
Former officers of the Salvation Army, Maud and Ballington Booth found Volunteers of America.
Raymonde de Laroche receives her pilot’s license from the Aeroclub de France, becoming the first woman in the world licensed to fly a plane.
In McCollum vs. Board of Education, the United States Supreme Court rules for the first time that religious instruction in public schools is unconstitutional.
March 8th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Anne Bonny – 1702
The notorious Irish pirate sailed the Caribbean during the early 1700s. She partnered with James Rackham, commandeering and pillaging ships before being captured in 1718.
Josephine Cochrane – 1839
In 1886, the American inventor patented the first commercially successful dishwashing machine.
Beatrice Shilling – 1909
The British engineer is best known for her ingenuity with carburetors improving the engines in the Spitfire and Hurricane fighter planes in 1940 during World War II. Shilling’s improvements contributed to the Royal Aircraft Establishment’s (RAE) success. In 1948, Queen Elizabeth II honored Shilling with the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Lynn Redgrave – 1943
The award-winning British actress brought to life countless roles on both stage and screen in her nearly 50-year career. Some of her most notable roles include Georgy in Georgy Girl, Hanna in Gods and Monsters, and Mrs. Culver in The Constant Wife.
Frederic W. Goudy – 1947
The self-taught American printer and typographer designed his first typeface in 1897. In his lifetime, he would create over 100 different fonts.
Leslie Fiedler – 1917
Harriet Samuel – 1836
Michael S. Hart – 1947
Aidan Quinn – 1959
Cameryn Manheim – 1961