Tuesday, March 8, 2011

100 Years of Honoring Women

It's not a very big deal in the United States so you may not know this, but today is International Women's Day. Not only that, but it's the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, so I couldn't very well let the day pass without writing about it.

Originally called International Working Women's Day, it started as a Socialist event and had political motivations in several countries. Since then, it has grown into something much more than that, marking a day around the world where women are celebrated. Events are held to honor women, discuss gender issues, reflect on women's achievements, and prioritize for the future.

These days, the United Nations chooses a theme for International Women's Day, and this year's theme is equal access to education, training, and science and technology. In previous years, themes have included violence against women, women and HIV/AIDS, women and peace, and so forth. Individual countries and localities, as well as other organizations, can also choose themes based on their own needs and the issues they want to highlight.

What I really love about this day is that it offers an opportunity for women to come together globally. There aren't too many international holidays, and there certainly aren't many other days that bring women together the way this one does. I suppose that's why I think it's a shame that it isn't celebrated as much in the U.S., though I think people have become more aware of it in the past few years thanks to feminist and political blogs and the reach of women's organizations. Who knows, maybe in a couple of years we'll all have events lined up for this day and won't need to be reminded that it's here. A great way to start might be to simply remind the women in your life how much they mean to you and how proud you are of their accomplishments.

Do you celebrate International Women's Day in any way? If you could choose a theme for this year, what would it be?

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