The first International Women’s Day
was observed by Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. International Women’s Day was conceived in 1910 at the second annual International Conference of Working Women, held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Over 100 women from 17 countries unanimously agreed to an International Women’s Day to be used to advocate for their demands, including women’s rights to work, vote, receive training, and hold public office.
In 1913, March 8 was named International Women’s Day and it has remained so for nearly 100 years. International Women’s Day has become a global day of recognition and celebration. International Women’s Day is a national holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
International Women’s Day encourages people to think globally and act locally by doing their part to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.
But our work isn’t done, as Daniel Craig (James Bond) and Judi Dench (M) point out in their video for the EQUALS Project
. You can see it on youtube here
The sensationalist take is “James Bond in drag
!” How exciting! How funny to see Daniel Craig in a dress! But the real power of the video is Judi Dench’s narration: After reeling off the data (70 million girls denied education, 60 million sexually assaulted on their way to school, 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic violence) she asks, “So, are we equals? Until the answer is yes, we must never stop asking.” I’ve watched the video at least a half dozen times and I still get a little chill.
According to Equality Now: “Through this eclectic list and global snapshot, we have tried to summarize the harsh realities of women’s lives entangled in myriad forms of violence and discrimination everywhere. To combat these abuses that affect women and girls’ lives, individuals and groups in the smallest corners of the world are fighting back and urging their governments and societies to end human violations against women and girls. Our responsibility is to support these efforts, in whichever way we can: call, write a letter or send an email to the powers that can effect change; or a send a check to groups on the ground or to Equality Now. The power of one individual to take action is critical; but together, we are key in making this world a better and safer place for everyone.”
Happy International Women’s Day everyone.