Metropolitan Touring Celebrates International Women’s Day 2017
Each year, on 8 March, the world marks the celebration of International Women’s Day since its inception in New York City back in 1909. This historic day represents a pivotal point in time that has focused on the celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women for their economic, political and social achievements.
Looking Back on International Women’s Day
Originally called International Working Women’s Day, the idea at the centre of the date was birthed by the conflict and disparity that arose (particularly for women) during the great expansion of the industrialized world in the early 1900’s — a point in time which saw a booming population growth along with the presence of some pretty radical ideologies. The movement was catalysed by the American Socialist Party when it commemorated a strike against the International Ladies Garment Worker’s Union that had happened the year before in 1908.
International Women’s Day gained even more traction when, a year later in August of 1910 at an International Women’s Conference in Denmark, a motion was passed to create a “strategy” (ultimately, a day) that would promote equal rights including suffrage for women. The movement, as we know it, started in 1910, but the day itself wasn’t officially celebrated by the United Nations until 1975.
Video Credit: Catalyst.org
Today, International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action. It takes on slightly different flavours and forms throughout the world, but the core focus remains the same and this is: an ongoing press for the demands of women. Each year the organizers designate themes covering specific issues that they feel need to be highlighted. Past examples include: “Empower Rural Women,” “End Poverty & Hunger,” “End Violence Against Women,” and many others.
This year’s theme revolves around the hashtag #BeBoldForChange, calling on the world’s population to help forge a better working world — a more inclusive, gender-equal world.
Continental Quirks: How Countries Celebrate
London’s Southbank Centre will play host to the Women of the World festival from 8 March. The week-long series includes talks from comics such as Caitlin Moran, poetry readings, dance lessons and even a demonstration from the sword-wielding stars of Muslim Girls Fence.
Charities such as Oxfam have run extensive activity supporting International Women’s Day and many celebrities and business leaders also actively support the day.
While International Women’s Day is not a national holiday in the U.S., President Barack Obama proclaimed the month of March to be “Women’s History Month” back in 2011, calling all Americans to mark International Women’s Day by reflecting on “the extraordinary accomplishments of women” in shaping the country’s history.
March 8th is an official public holiday in Russia. Celebrations often occur within the family circle accompanied by a festive meal and champagne. Men and women tend to give flowers, postcards (with poetry!), chocolate and other pleasant gifts to their mothers, wives, grandmothers, sisters and daughters. It’s also not unusual to see some Russian men undertaking all household duties on this day, dedicating their time to wash dishes, take care of the kids and end the day with a home-cooked dinner so that women can enjoy a full day of rest.
In Ecuador, International Women’s Day celebrations are similar to those in Russia, but they also have an activist tinge. Throughout the month of March, even though it’s not an official public holiday, women’s organizations take advantage of the date to raise awareness with increased media presence, academic talks, and occasional public events. At a more personal level, everyone from families to coworkers will commemorate the day by giving gifts to the women in their lives. As a special treat, some might even wish to give them the gift of a Galapagos cruises.