International Women’s Day 2010
March 8, 2010 by Anna Belle Pfau
Happy International Women’s Day! IWD is the one day each year that women’s organizations and their supporters coordinate events to raise awareness for universal women’s rights. More attention is paid to women’s issue throughout the world on this day than any other day of the year. It is an opportunity to celebrate the political, economic, and social achievements of women, and to work to promote future achievements. A lot is going on this year, but first, since March is Women’s History Month, a brief history of this 99th International Women’s Day.
History of IWD
International Women’s Day began with the efforts of Lorine S. Brown, a Chicago worker’s activist who organized the first meeting—reportedly attended by 1500 women— in 1908. International Women’s Day was first nationally observed by the Socialist Party of America in 1909, and resulted from a tumultuous period of unfair labor practices and worker unrest in the U.S. The next year it was adopted at the Socialist International convention in Copenhagen by unanimous consent. The first official International Women’s Day was thus held in 1911, making next year (2011) the centennial anniversary. The first official IWD was observed in the United States, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, and Germany, among other nations. Millions of women and men attended conventions held in these countries to show their support, making IWD a success from the very beginning. (Sources: United Nations; AWID)
International Women’s Day has consistently provided a forum for women in many countries to have their voices heard. Beginning with female worker’s rights, the International Women’s movement soon adopted universal suffrage and political opportunity as its causes as well. Today International Women’s Day is a day to call attention to the problems of women around the world, and to celebrate their achievements.
Today is the 99th official International Women’s Day, and there is a lot going on to commemorate it. You can find out what may be going in your area by checking out the search feature at the International Women’s Day 2010 website. Here are a few of the more interesting events I have found:
Women for Women International is sponsoring several Join Me on the Bridge events throughout the world, featuring the central event on the border of Rwanda and Congo. Women from both countries will meet on a border bridge to promote the end of war and help build a bi-lateral bridge to peace. See if there’s a bridge event in your area here.
Reuters will offer International Women’s Day Live, a place to follow news on IWD throughout the day, as well as live-blogging by guest bloggers, and the opportunity to share your stories.
The United Nation’s theme this year is Equal Rights, Equal Opportunity: Progress for All. Here is U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s statement, posted on YouTube, for International Women’s Day 2010:
Next year is the 100th anniversary of the first official International Women’s Day. We should begin to think now about what we’ll do to commemorate it, and to further the cause of girls and women everywhere. What are your ideas for the next International Women’s Day? Post them in comments so we can start organizing!