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The world celebrates International Women’s Day today

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Posted: Monday, March 8, 2021. 12:25 pm CST.

By Ruben Morales Iglesias, Belize City: International Women’s Day is a day devoted to women, not to say anything about Women’s Month.

The struggle women have is nothing new, but over the years the strides that have been achieved are the fruits of the labor of many women who through the passing of time have decided not to stay quiet and fight for equality. For some, it has cost them their lives. That has not stopped others from carrying on with the fight.

“International Women’s Day is a dynamic holiday dedicated to lifting up the social, economic, cultural, and political accomplishments of women. It is also rooted in raising awareness of the issues women face across the spectrum and, accordingly, advocating for gender parity,” wrote Julie Sprinkles of Yahoo Life!

The first International Women’s Day was in February but in 1975, the United Nations designated March 8 in recognition of Petrograd, Russia, who set a revolution into motion.

Sprinkles recounts how International Women’s day came about:

“On Feb. 28, 1908, some 15,000 women (largely garment workers) took to the streets of New York City to demand the rights and respect they were owed. They rallied for things like shorter work hours, pay equity, and even suffrage. “It is true that a woman’s duty is centered in her home and motherhood… [but] home should mean the whole country, and not be confined to three or four rooms or a city or a state,” attendee Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author of The Yellow Wallpaper, told the crowd.

“The following year, women marched on the same day — albeit backed at that point by the Socialist Party of America. But by 1910, the momentum had truly gone global. At the second International Conference of Working Women, held in Copenhagen that year, an activist by the name of Clara Zetkin proposed there should be a date of significance on which women from all over the world could celebrate (or demonstrate) in solidarity each year.

“In an incredible showing, more than 100 women from 17 countries agreed unanimously to start International Women’s Day. Got goosebumps yet? If not, you will soon — the next year, in 1911, more than 1 million women and men in Europe marched and attended International Women’s Day rallies or demonstrations.

“On March 8, 1917, in correlation with these rallies, women in Russia took a stand for Bread and Peace in the midst of war. When the czar abdicated four days later and women were granted suffrage, the demonstrators were given credit for sparking the Russian Revolution.”

That’s when the United Nations set March 8 as the official International Women’s Day. Now, it’s celebrated in more than 100 countries.

Every year a theme is chosen to celebrate International Women’s Day. This year it’s “#ChooseToChallenge.” Prior to this year, other themes have been emblematic of women’s struggles: in 2016 it was Pledge for Parity, in 2017, Be Bold for Change, in 2018 Press for progress, and in 2019 Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change.

The International Women’s Day website says that “A challenging world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all choose to challenge. How will you help forge a gender-equal world? Celebrate women’s achievements. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality. Show your support and solidarity.”

The IWD website  has been asking people around the world to take a picture of themselves raising “your hand high to show you’re in and that you commit to choosing to challenge and call out inequality and submit them online for a chance to be featured on the International Women’s Day website

They have also been encouraging people to post their pictures on social media with the hashtag #ChooseToChallenge.

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