Sunday, March 8 is International Women’s Day, and in 2015 it was met with world-wide celebration.
The United Kingdom led the world in hosting the most commemoratory events with more than 300 public festivities. It was followed closely by the United States, Australia, Canada and India.
In China, International Women’s Day is marketed by companies so that men will buy presents for their mothers, wives and daughters. Chinese university students created the spin-off, “Girl’s Day,” on March 7 so that unmarried women could have a special day as well.
In Russia the day is honored more humbly by giving small gifts to female friends and colleagues in a personal setting.
According to the United Nation’s website, “It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regards to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.”
The holiday attributes its origin to a garment workers’ strike that took place in New York in 1908. 15,000 women protested unfair working conditions.
In 1910 at a meeting in Copenhagen, The Socialist International proposed an International Women’s Day that was unanimously approved by 100 women from 17 countries.
The holiday really gained traction in the U.S. after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire on March 25, 1911. The fire killed 146 workers, 123 of whom were women, that were locked inside the building because of the inhumane management practices.
Due to the tragedy of this event some people suggest that International Women’s Day ought to be a somber day of remembrance.
To the contrary, it symbolizes much more than the horror that women workers had to endure before the push for equal rights took effect. It demonstrates that women as a whole have the tenacity to gain the equality they deserve.
International Women’s Day should be associated with success for a globally recognized movement. To that end, it can be shared as evidence that equality for all is becoming more widely accepted with each passing decade.
Before the men of the world get butthurt about their exclusion, there is an International Men’s Day that takes place every year on Nov. 19 in over 60 countries. It focuses on men’s health, improving gender relations and highlighting positive male role models.
Even though gender equality has yet to permeate the earth, International Women’s Day has created a crucial bridge to understanding and appreciating the capabilities of women.