Category Archives: International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day 2016

imageInternational Women’s Day, March 8, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The theme for 2016 is imageThe requests for individuals,corporations, public and private sectors to embrace this has gone global, and many companies have already signed up.

All over the globe events are taking place to mark International Women’s Day and in particular to highlight the need,the imperative,for equality. It is easy to find out what is happening in your local area for IWD2016, but, if like me, you are not able to take part in these organised events, it is still possible to make a mark, to advocate for parity for women from the comfort of your own home.

I am speaking of course of KIVA, that wonderful organisation that enables communities worldwide through micro loans. I am directing my loans towards women in communities who are less fortunate than those of us in the first world. I belong to a Kiva group called Genealogists for Families, inspired to do so by my friend Pauleen Cass, but you do not need to be affiliated to any group as you can lend as an individual, for as little as $25. Most times this amount will be returned to you and you can either claim the repayment or recycle the money to the benefit of another community. I like to recycle the money to women in poor communities, to supply basic needs such as toilets,or medical facilities. In this way we can take positive steps to ensure that women in poor underdeveloped countries can take steps towards parity of esteem and equality in their social structures. Whatever you do to celebrate, I wish you a happy International Women’s Day!

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International Women’s Day – Make it Happen with Kiva!

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Theme for IWD 2015

Theme for IWD 2015

International Women’s Day 2015 is on Sunday March 8th, with a theme this year of ‘Make it Happen’!  Unable to attend any of the very many events happening across the world, I wondered how I as an individual might ‘Make it Happen’.  No sooner had I begun wondering than an email arrived, announcing that I had received a repayment  on a loan I had made through Kiva. That’s it, I thought! By donating the money I saved through not attending a real live event, I can ‘Make it Happen’ for  women less fortunate than myself. Kiva is a microfunding, not for profit organization that facilitates loans to low-income entrepreneurs and students, male and female, in over 70 countries. It is possible for those of us with limited means to make a difference as the smallest loan amount is  25 USD . Kiva Zip,a sister organization granting interest-free loans to people in USA and Kenya, accepts loans from as little as $5. Ordinarily you will be repaid- it is such a thrill to get an email saying ‘You have received a repayment of 19 cents!’ When your loan is  repaid, you can claim back the money or relend it again to another person or project.  So for International Women’s Day, I have decided to focus my loans on women in underdeveloped countries, to ‘Make it Happen’ for them. Traditionally these women who have incomes, however small, are empowered to change their lives and educate their children, thereby benefiting their entire communities.

The first International Women’s Day was celebrated in March 1911. It had its origins in America a few years earlier where women had come together to protest against poor working conditions, resulting in a National Women’s Day being declared by the Socialist Party of America. Subsequently at an International Conference for Working Women in Copenhagen, attended by delegates from 17 countries, and including the first 3 women elected to the Finnish Parliament, a proposal to have a special day each year to focus on women’s issues was met with unanimous approval.

Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark observed the first International Women’s Day in March 1911. More than a million men and women attended rallies in support of women’s right to work, right to vote, right to hold public office. In 1913, Russian women observed International Women’s Day campaigning for peace and in 1914, other European countries joined in.

In 1917, amid great unrest in Russia caused by millions of casualties, terrible food shortages, and with many women removed from farms to work in the factories, International Women’s Day prompted 90,00 workers to strike and the army at Petrograd to revolt. Attempts to end the unrest were not successful and Tsar Nicholas II abdicated some days later. The new provisional government granted universal suffrage with equality for women.

Down the decades, the movement has continued to grow and has become a worldwide event, celebrating social, political and economic changes for women, highlighting inequalities and raising money for charity.  In 25 countries it is an official holiday while in China Madagascar and Nepal it is an official holiday for women only. In many countries from Bangladesh to Guinea, from Vietnam to Iceland, from Afghanistan to Zambia, events will take place on March 8th to mark International Women’s Day. The top 5 countries for International Women’s day activity to mark the centenary on March 8th are the UK, Canada, Australia, the United States and Ireland. Details of events across the globe can be found on the International Women’s Day site here.

What better day to log in to  Kiva and make a small loan to help our sisters across the globe!

Happy Women’s Day!

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Extraordinary Ordinary Women

iwd_long
Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 when thousands  of events occur all over the world in celebration of  the achievements of women.

The first International Women’s Day (IWD) was in March 1911. It had its origins in America a few years earlier where women had come together to protest against poor working conditions, resulting in a National Women’s Day being declared by the Socialist Party of America. Subsequently at an International Conference for Working Women in Copenhagen, attended by delegates from 17 countries, and including the first 3 women elected to the Finnish Parliament, a proposal to have a special day each year to focus on women’s issues was met with unanimous approval. International Women’s Day has evolved into a global day of celebration of the achievements of women, socially, politically, and economically. Women’s rights campaigners highlight inequalities and raise money for Charity and  Celebrities the world over associate themselves with the day.

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Inspiring Change

The United Nations  recognized International Women’s Day in 1975 and for the past 19  years it has designated a global theme for the day. Their  theme for 2014 is ‘Inspiring Change’.

The need for change has been very much highlighted by the publication this week of a European Union wide report on violence against women. This report, reveals the startling statistic that one in 3 women across  28 member states of the EU  has experienced either physical or sexual violence since the age of 15.

It is interesting to note that the United Nations has returned to the need to stop violence against women as a theme for International Women’s Day time and again as can be seen below.

Year       Theme

1999       World free of violence against women

2007      Ending impunity for violence against women and girls

2009      Women and men united to end violence against women and girls

2013       Time for action to end violence against women.

Some groups, countries and organizations select their own theme for IWD. It is not surprising therefore to find that the EU has adopted as its theme ”Preventing Violence Against Women – a Challenge for all”  for IWD in 2014. This is their Poster .

On International Women’s Day  we rightly celebrate our ”celebrity women” who have made a difference to the lives of many, but we must not forget the ordinary women such as the 1 in 3 who suffer abuse who are the most extraordinary of all.

womendayHappy Women’s Day to all my readers!

Further reading/references:

E U Report 2014

The Guardian Report

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Filed under Healthy Living, International Women's Day, Ireland, Social Change

International Women’s Day: The Gender Agenda

centredinternationalwomensday“The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum” is the theme for International Women’s Day on Friday next 8, March.

The story of how this annual celebration came about is  so worth repeating as it is in itself a triumph  of ‘ The Gender Agenda’ and an inspiration to all of us girls who want to celebrate the road  travelled in our name, or raise awareness of  paths that still need to be trod on behalf of our sisters across the world.

From my blog of March 2011, to mark the centenary of this international event:

The first International Women’s Day was celebrated in March 1911. It had its origins in America a few years earlier where women had come together to protest against poor working conditions, resulting in a National Women’s Day being declared by the Socialist Party of America. Subsequently at an International Conference for Working Women in Copenhagen, attended by delegates from 17 countries, and including the first 3 women elected to the Finnish Parliament, a proposal to have a special day each year to focus on women’s issues was met with unanimous approval.

Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark observed the first International Women’s Day in March 1911. More than a million men and women attended rallies in support of women’s right to work, right to vote, right to hold public office. In 1913, Russian women observed International Women’s Day campaigning for peace and in 1914, other European countries joined in.

In 1917, amid great unrest in Russia caused by millions of casualties, terrible food shortages, and with many women removed from farms to work in the factories, International Women’s Day prompted 90,00 workers to strike and the army at Petrograd to revolt. Attempts to end the unrest were not successful and Tsar Nicholas II abdicated some days later. The new provisional government granted universal suffrage with equality for women.

Down the decades, the movement has continued to grow and has become a worldwide event in countries all over the world. In 25 countries it is an official holiday while in China Madagascar and Nepal it is an official holiday for women only. In many countries from Bangladesh to Guinea, from Vietnam to Iceland, from Afghanistan to Zambia, events will take place on March 8th to mark International Women’s Day. The top 5 countries for International Women’s day activity to mark the centenary on March 8th are the UK, Canada, Australia, the United States and Ireland.

International Women’s Day has evolved into a global day of celebration of the achievements of women, socially, politically, and economically. Women’s rights campaigners highlight inequalities and raise money for Charity and   Celebrities the world over associate themselves with the day.

So, whether you want to celebrate, raise awareness for a cause or make a call for action, International Women’s Day is a special day for our Gender Agenda! Go on, DO something!

And while we are at it, what about an International Women’s Day event for Female Bloggers! If interested, please share this post and we may be able to build an online event across the globe to celebrate who we are!

For a list of hundreds of activities and events by country, see http://tinyurl.com/bpve9tg

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