International Women’s Day – 8th March
There are two powers in the world: the sword and the pen. There is a third power, stronger than both, that of women – Malala Yousafzai
Although the celebration is now globally fully recognised, there is a halo of mystery around the first occurrence and the reasons behind it. Some say it is a reminder of a march in New York City in 1908, when 15,000 women fought to obtain better pay and voting rights. Others, instead, want to remember the tragic event of a fire in an American factory, where 146 women sadly died in 1911.
The traditions around the world
In many countries, companies offer women a half-day off, or flowers. In Italy, La Festa della Donna sees women getting together for parties and dinners, where they usually receive bright yellow and lovely scented mimosa flowers. This plant and its blossoms embody the strength and sensibility of women, and it can be found for sale in every corner during the first week of March. In China, as well as celebrating women giving them special gifts, they also dedicate a full day to young ladies, with Girl’s Day on the 7th March. In Germany, Frauentag is even considered a national bank holiday. Spain, instead, sees women gathering in the street to fight for the feminist cause. In France, however, the celebration is not so heart-felt. Only a few years ago, following a shocking report on salary differences between men and women, the country decided to impose a strike and finished working at 15:40pm. Apparently, female workers were working for free from this time onwards, as highly underpaid against their masculine colleagues.
This year’s theme
Starting from the hashtag #ChooseToChallenge and #IWD2021, this is a year of reflection for everyone around the world. Let’s all take a moment to celebrate women’s creativity, empowerment and achievements throughout the centuries. Today we have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women finally have real choices
A moment of reflection
Shockingly, six women are killed every hour by men around the world, most of them are hit and murdered by men in their own family or by their partners. A new report shows that in the UK a woman is killed by a man every three days, and the UN is afraid that COVID-19 is overshadowing the issue. On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the UN is calling on nations to act.
Choose to make the difference, make everyday International Women’s Day.
Check this video to see how this day is celebrated around the world