Today is International Women’s Day. We can’t think of a better day to celebrate the women in your life who are working toward their dreams, attaining their goals and living with purpose and passion!
What is International Women’s Day?
March 8 is a global day for celebrating the social, political, economic and cultural achievements of women and the movement for gender equality. It is also a day to call each and every person to renew their commitment toward realizing gender equality.
History and the Women’s Rights Movement
Historically women have not enjoyed the same rights and benefits as men. The Women’s Rights Movement can be traced back to 1848. At that time women did not have many of the rights they have today:
- Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law
- Women were not allowed to vote
- Women had to obey laws they had no voice in forming.
- Married women had no property rights.
- Husbands had legal power over their wives including imprisoning or beating them with impunity.
- Divorce and child custody laws favored men and women had no rights.
- Women had to pay property taxes but had no representation in the levying of these taxes.
- Most occupations were closed to women and if they did work they were paid only a fraction of what the men earned.
- Women were not allowed to become doctors or lawyers.
- Higher education was not available to Women because no College or University would accept women students.
- Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men.
This list of grievances gave rise to a movement that sought equal treatment for women and men under the law and voting rights for women. Change does not occur over night. Fast forward to the 1900’s in New York City, women protested and marched through the streets demanding voting rights, better pay and shorter working hours. It wasn’t until August 26, 1920 that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granted women the right to vote.
In 1935 the National Council of Negro Women was formed to lobby against job discrimination, racism and sexism. In 1961 JFK establishes President’s Commission on Status of Women which recommends fair hiring practices, paid maternity leave and affordable child care for women.
In 2009 Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act – victims of pay discrimination can now file a complaint with the government against their employer within 180 days of their last paycheck. January 2016 women can now serve in any job in the armed forces provided they meet the gender neutral performance standards.
Over the years we have made tremendous progress when it comes to Women’s Rights. Let’s continue this forward momentum until the gender gap is gone for good.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world. Indeed,
it’s the only thing that ever has.” –
– Margaret Mead
Do Gender Gaps Still Exist today?
Although we have made great strides towards gender equality, gender gaps continue to exist in the areas of women’s education, health, violence and economics.
What Can You Do To Make A Difference?
- Advocate for change by advocating for yourself. Speak up for your wants and needs and exercising your own voice.
- Speak for equality by starting a conversation with family and friends. You can speak about your own personal experiences as they relate to the gender gap and ask others to speak about their experiences.
- Take a stand against bias and encourage others to do the same.
- Celebrate the Achievements of women you know!
How to Celebrate International Women’s Day?
Drop us a line and tell us about your dreams and ambitions! Tell us what you hope to do, become, achieve? We would love to celebrate your achievements with you!