International Women’s Day

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International Women’s Day – When did it all begin and why?

As we know women have been campaigning for equality for years, from the vote to fairer pay and better working hours and conditions.

In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York to make a stand and a year later the Socialist Party of America declared the first National Women’s Day.

The following year a woman called Clara Zetkin was at the International Conference of Working women in Copenhagen and suggested making the day International. There were women at the meeting from 17 different countries and they all agreed.

What’s happening now?

Well 110 years on, the 8th March International Women’s Day is still a special day and the campaigning continues. However, things have moved on and the discussion has progressed. 

This year is all about creating an equal and enabled world, with the hashtag for the campaign being #EachForEqual. #EachForEqual is about challenging stereotypes, broadening perceptions and celebrating the achievements of women. It is about collectively creating a gender equal world and collective individualism.

‘The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.’

Gloria Steinem

How does it affect my community and me?

There are lots of ways we can all get involved no matter your age or background. Here are some ideas of how you might support women in your community:

  1. Be a voice for women. Whether that be chairing a club, supporting local campaigns or writing your views on social media.
  2. Be a mentor. What skills have you learnt that might empower other women? Can you spare some time to help another woman achieve a goal?
  3. Take a stand in your own life. Talk to your boss about that pay rise, put yourself forward for the role you want or maybe you need to gather the confidence to talk to a loved one about something difficult.
  4. Donate. It could be money, belongings, time or advice but there are a lot of people in our community who need help and support.
  5. Celebrate. We can celebrate the achievements of the amazing women we have in our lives. From family to friends, colleagues and women we admire we can inspire each other to do great things. The BBC have compiled a list of 100 influential women.