It is thought by many that the day to recognize gender equality officially started back in 1908, when women oppression and inequality led them to be more active in demanding change. Back then, a march of 15,000 women through the streets of New York created the attention needed to establish the first National Women’s Day observance in 1909 by the Socialist Party of America; which was typically celebrated at the end of February. By 1910, during an international Women’s Conference in Copenhagen, it was proposed that women all over the world should celebrate on the same day – and International Women’s Day was born. After women from many countries supported the idea, what started as a ‘socialist’ observance finally became a true international, recognized holiday in 1913, when the date to demand equality for women was set for March 8th.
It has taken over a century for women to finally take center stage. Even though the line of gender inequality is becoming finer, gender-related statistics still show the atrocities being conducted against women in the 21st century.
Today however, it’s about celebrating the advances in gender equality, and the achievements of women in modern day society in the economic, political and social arenas. It’s about turning all the ‘negatives’ into ‘positives’ and celebrating the many choices that women have.
This year’s International Women’s Day is marked by 2 campaigns: Led by internationalwomensday.com, “Make it Happen” is focused on encouraging women to make a difference in various sectors: the arts, sports, science, engineering and technology, senior leadership, growth of women-owned businesses, and financial independence. The website was founded in 2001 as a non-profit philanthropic venture dedicated to keeping International Women’s Day (IWD) alive and growing through a global hub for sharing International Women’s Day information, events, news and resources.
The UN celebrates this year’s International Women’s day with the campaign “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!” commemorating 20 years since the ‘Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action’; a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for making women’s rights a reality.
Even though great strides have been made, there is still much to be accomplished. By creating awareness, we ensure that women continue to have the choices they have today. We encourage those who can to picture it, make it happen and continue to promote gender equality. The ‘March’ for gender equality is yet not over.
The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.
The organization does so by funding scholarships to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, researchers, and authors to convey the timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health. of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that will create women’s health awareness and advocacy in the community.