In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result……. read more
One Woman is a song I heard this morning performed by 25 female artists from all over the world; it was launched today to celebrate International Women’s Day. The song, written for UN Women, is a call for listeners to join the drive for women’s rights and gender equality, quite a beautiful song and definitely worth a listen.
Women in the UK are some of the lucky few who have automatic access to an education (not so lucky if you attend Country School) we have the right to equal pay, maternity leave, imagine that in deepest Nigeria? The reason that we have access to these privileges is because way back in time other brave women fought for those rights on our behalf. They worked hard at securing the future which we now enjoy, a future in a society which is becoming more and more equal as the decades pass. These women sacrificed a great deal personally and it is now our turn to do the same for other women around the world; sadly some who live here in the UK who perhaps do not have quite as much to celebrate as we do…………YET!
International Women’s Day is ultimately about making progress for those women who are being trafficked for sex to Europe – for those in the Middle East who are still not allowed to drive - for secretaries who still get whistled at in the office but can say nothing for fear of losing a much needed job – for the girls in India who, because of some hokey pokey tradition, will never have the chance to read or write, imagine that, just imagine how debilitating being illiterate would be for a young person with 80 years of life ahead of them, they will never know how to read a gripping story or write a letter to a loved one, they have no chance of anything but the same old, same old……..this day is for all women who still have no voice and no hope as a result of inequality.
International Women’s Day has an extremely important role to play in the present for the future and anyone out there who thinks that there’s no point to it perhaps you are not fully aware of the real point in the first place; the day is not necessarily about celebrating womanhood per se, although this surely plays a small part, but more about helping those who need the help of other women to make progress for them, to fight their corner just like Emily Pankhurst did for us all those years ago; perhaps we can all make a difference in some small way if we really put our heads together.
Sorry to get all serious on you but every now and again I can’t help it…..Ellie x