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  • Dora Ollivier Alarcon

International Women's day

You might have heard about International Women’s Day (IWD). Every year, for the past century the 8th of March has been recognized as the day in dedication to all woman around the world. To remember the many social, economic, cultural and politic achievements of women. It is a day which is supposed to enhance equality amongst genders. 

Historically, women and girls have always been considered less capable, strong and talented than men. Throughout the centuries they have faced discrimination in many societies around the world. Ancient laws, established by men, have silenced women’s voices and have restrained their capabilities and their talent.  

With the spreading of democracy in the 19th century, the conscience of the underprivileged position of women in society raised. Many women began to understand that the way they were treated was unfair. With time, the feminist ideals developed. Groups of determined women began campaigning for their political rights (like the right to vote). These ladies were called suffragists. They decided to challenge the norms of society. Together they influenced the government and made many radical changes. In the UK in 1918 women over 30 gained the right to vote. 

International Women’s Day took inspiration from the suffragist movements. Before World War One in 1910, the German feminist and advocate for women’s rights, Clara Zetnik, suggested the idea in the International Conference of Working Woman in Copenhagen. Soon after, the International Socialist Congress ratified the concept. A year later, on the 19th of March 1911, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. It was not until 1977 that the United Nations finally recognised the day. 

Every year, the 8th of March is dedicated to empowering women. According to the UN “by investing in women, we can spark change and speed the transition towards a healthier, safer, and more equal world for all”.  

But the most important message of International Women’s Day is that there is still a lot to do! 

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