How did International Women's Day begin?
HAPPY International Women's Day, from me to you.
Today is a day of celebration, recognition, support and action.
Globally we celebrate International Women's Day on March 8 with feminist rallies, luncheons, breakfasts, workshops, campaigns and gatherings of all kinds.
Women have been coming together on this day to support each other and campaign for equality (yes that's what feminism is) for over 100 years now.
Although there is now an International Women's Day campaign, and the UN also has one; there is no official organisation responsible for today.
Gloria Steinem, feminist, journalist and activist, put it well when she said "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”.
Today, International Women's Day is for everyone.
It is a day advocating for women's rights. But, it is also a day for all feminists; no matter their gender.
The first time International Women's Day was officially celebrated was in 1911 by Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The centenary was celebrated in 2011.
However the idea for International Women's Day originates even further back to 1908, when over 15,000 women marched through New York City.
They were marching to campaign for the right to vote and fair working conditions; specifically equal pay.
Now here we are 111 years later still campaigning for equal pay.
A lot has changed. And yet, a lot has not changed.
In Australia, on average, full-time working women earn $239.80 less per week than men.
This makes Australia's full-time gender pay gap 14.1%.
These figures were calculated (2019) by the WGEA using data from the ABS (2019 and 2018).
Globally there are still women who are unable to vote, unable to drive, unable to work, and with little to no rights.
International Women's Day is a day that originated because women wanted equal rights.
We will continue to fight for this cause until women across the globe have equal rights. Feminism is a global issue, as much as it is a local issue.
Today I will be reflecting on how far we have come in our fight for equality and safety, by recognising and celebrating the brilliant women who helped us get there.
It is also a day for women to unite, network, and take action in any way they can. Every small act can amount to meaningful and real change.