International Women’s Day: A Historical Reminder of Women’s Inequality

International Women’s Day is a day to reflect and look forward to the monumental steps that women have taken for us. From Sally Ride being the first woman in space to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat and being coined “the first lady of civil rights,” we reflect, admire, and are immensely inspired by women around the globe for their achievements and momentous strides in humanity.

Women will forever play an important role in our international economy. Here’re some facts and history on International Women’s Day:

1908: Women’s maltreatment was urging women to become much more active in vocalizing change. 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights.

1909: The first National Women’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on February 28th in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.

1911: International Women’s Day was honored for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19th. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office, and end discrimination.

2011: With the first IWD event held exactly 100 years ago in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, 2011 saw the 100 year landmark of IWD. In the United States, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 to be “Women’s History Month,” calling Americans to mark IWD by reflecting “the extraordinary accomplishments of women” in shaping the country’s history.

2017 and future:

The Women's March was a worldwide protest on January 21, 2017, to advocate legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, including women's rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion,and workers' rights.The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid the same as men. Great improvements have been made. We’ve made tremendous leaps and bounds. For example, we have female astronauts, prime ministers, women can work and have a family, women have real choices.

According to the Women in Film website, “<1% are film composers, 11.8% are writers, 22% are producers, and 7.5% are directors.” These numbers have drastically improved over the years.

Today is also a day where women take the day off from paid and unpaid labor, avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women-, and minority-owned businesses), and wear red in solidarity with a day without a woman, and march in Washington to further the progress we’ve made.

In some countries, International Women’s Day is as important as Mother’s Day.

Women around the globe will continue to shape our history as human beings, and we need to continue the propel in equality. We’ve made prodigious progress thus far and will remain an ongoing movement. “Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe, and rewarding.” (IWD)

Timeline information taken from the International Women’s Day website.

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