All around the world, International Women’s Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.
Happy International Women’s Day! March is an exciting month because not only does it house this special day for women around the world, but it it also Women’s History Month! Who runs the world? Duh! This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #MakeItHappen! Just like that inspirational Mariah Carey song by the same name, this hashtag creates a spirit of can do, instead of woe is me. This year, International Women’s Day is encouraging effective action for advancing and recognizing women.
On Sunday March 8, thousands of women and men gathered in the New York City streets not only to observe the day, but to commemorate the fight for equal rights with an impassioned march.
“Today, you are marching in the footsteps of generations of feminists,” said New York City’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, speaking of the very first International Women’s Day in 1911, when thousands of women marched through the city demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. She said New York has taken strides toward closing the gender gap with programs such as universal pre-k and minimum paid sick leave as well as enhancements to city services such like the Office to Combat Domestic Violence.
Many shouted, “Women’s rights are human rights!” According to reports, the march started in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza opposite the United Nations, ending hours later in Times Square. Participants called for equality for the gender that traditionally is paid less for work and often has a smaller voice in policy decisions.
“This march started more than a century ago, but we still have a long way to go before we get to equality,” McCray said. A long way indeed. Women are still getting 78 cents to the dollar of what men are making, schoolgirls in Nigeria are still being forced out of school, abducted and forced into marriage and there’s so much more devastating proof that we don’t get what we deserve.
Days like International Women’s Day is an awesome display of pride in being a woman, but also the endless fight for gender equality. We’re just glad we can celebrate us all!
Use your voice via social media to join in the fight for equal rights for women with these hashtags:
Happy International Women’s Day! How did you celebrate?