It has been observed since the early 1900’s as a day for recognition of women’s rights and achievements, and the appeal to gender parity.
First organised by the Socialist Party of America in 1909 in New York, the day was mainly recognized by communist countries and socialist movements until it was adopted by the United Nations in 1975.
2017’s theme is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030,” with Ernst & Young promoting it via social media as #BeBoldForChange.
How is it Celebrated?
In countries across the world, the tradition has been to give flowers to women. In Italy, men give women yellow mimosas, in Russia and Albania, mimosas and chocolates are given. In Portugal, there is the tradition to have “women-only” dinners.
How you celebrate is completely up to you, so long as you’re smashing the patriarchy.
Be active on International Women’s Day on 8th March and use it as a time to:
- recognise the many achievements of women in social, economic, cultural and political situations because awareness and successes can help motivate positive revolutions for women
- plan the actions you’ll take as an individual because you have the ability to help further the progress on the gender agenda. Action will contribute to worldwide gender parity.
The university has several events lined up for the day including a talk from MP, Penny Mordaunt, and a showing of ‘Under the Shadow’, a film explaining corruption and politics in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Click here to see what’s on.
Why is there no International Men’s Day?
Because it’s every day; but if you’re looking for something more official, it’s November 19th.
A Woman Speaks
by AUDRE LORDE
Moon marked and touched by sun
my magic is unwritten
but when the sea turns back
it will leave my shape behind.
I seek no favor
untouched by blood
unrelenting as the curse of love
permanent as my errors
or my pride
I do not mix
love with pity
nor hate with scorn
and if you would know me
look into the entrails of Uranus
where the restless oceans pound.
I do not dwell
within my birth nor my divinities
who am ageless and half-grown
and still seeking
witches in Dahomey
wear me inside their coiled cloths
as our mother did
I have been woman
for a long time
beware my smile
I am treacherous with old magic
and the noon’s new fury
with all your wide futures
and not white.
Audre Lorde, ‘A Woman Speaks’ from The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde. Copyright © 1997 by Audre Lorde.