Compared to 100 years ago, life is a lot better for women today. Women have the right to vote, hold public office, equal and fair treatment by all, and (our favorite) the right to weld. We have many courageous people to thank for fighting for these rights, and that list includes all of the activists involved in International Women’s Day over the years.
International Women’s Day was founded in 1911 by Clara Zetkin, a German activist, to lobby for equal rights for women in every country. The first International Women’s Day was held in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, with over a million women and men gathering to campaign for women’s rights. Today, International Women’s Day is an official holiday in countries throughout the world, from Afghanistan to Zambia. On this day, men honor their mothers, wives, girlfriends, and colleagues with flowers and small gifts, much like Mother’s Day here in the U.S.
Thanks to the work of International Women’s Day supporters. we now see more women in corporate executive positions and holding public office. We have female astronauts, prime ministers, and scholars. Women can choose to work and raise a family without any societal pushback.
While we’ve come a long way, there’s still work to do. According to International Women’s Day, “The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.”
So what can we do about it? Get involved! As the adage goes, think globally and act locally. Here’s some ways International Women’s Day suggests you get involved:
Promote IWD to your social networks. Use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. to honor a woman who has inspired y0u.
There are IWD events all over the world. Click here to find an event near you.
Vote with your wallet
Support companies that make a point to create equal opportunities for women. Here’s a list compiled by IWD.
Thank a woman you care about for being awesome.
Who are you celebrating this International Women’s Day? Tell us in comments.