Today is international women’s day, it’s been a 100 years from the first one in 1911.
Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1911 also saw women’s ‘Bread and Roses’ campaign.
A lot has changed for women over the last 100 years, so much progress has happened re rights and equality and it’s wonderful that so much of the day is now about celebrating achievements but it’s also about raising awareness about where women have been left out of history and where there is still inequality.
Some of those are where equality has been legislated for but it doesn’t happen in practice or that culturally we still have a gender bias in how we treat people and what we expect from them and how we judge them.
The stats on over 50% of women who have been murdered ere killed by their current or previous partner unfortunately applies also to Ireland.
100 Years of International Women’s Day – Feminism shouldn’t be an F-word – Annie Lennox
It shocks, disappoints and angers me that in a world where man has travelled to the moon and where we can connect to people anywhere on earth instantly online, men and women are still not equal.
The statistics are sobering. Across the globe, gender-based violence causes more deaths and disabilities among women of child-bearing age than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined. Even in the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo, it’s safer to be a soldier than a woman. Women do two-thirds of the world’s work for a paltry 10 percent of the world’s income and own just 1 percent of the means of production.
As the centenary of International Women’s Day approaches, I urge you to stop and think.
Last year, I did just that. I participated in one of 119 bridge events for International Women’s Day involving 20,000 women across four continents. It was a moving and powerful show of strength. I saw many wonderful women there, standing up for equality, justice and peace. But I was struck by how many other amazing women weren’t there.
It seemed to me that some people must think we already have equality. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, huge gains have been made since 1911, but we still have a mountain to climb. We need to persevere with this for the sake of our daughters, our granddaughters, and the generations to come.
Motivated and inspired, I became convinced that collectively we could make a loud noise. I want this year’s centenary celebrations for International Women’s Day to be a turning point, a catalyst for tangible and positive change.
Despite the fact that half of the world’s population is female, women’s rights have become marginalized as a ‘minority issue’. Many young women feel that the label of ‘feminist’ is, at best, irrelevant to their lives and, at worst, a stigma to be avoided at all costs.
Sullied by stereotypes of hairy arm-pitted man haters, the concept of feminism and its principles of equality and anti-sexism need to be refreshed and reclaimed by a new generation. Feminism shouldn’t be an F-word. We should embrace it.
Change only happens when we see the need for it and set about making it happen.
So how are you going to celebrate today?
There are events happening all over the world, two of which are.
08 March · 20:00 – 23:00 L
Location The Mercantile Bar 28 Dame st Dublin, Ireland
Irish Fem-Net, Madeline Hawke
We’re casting off the shackles of election day blues and kicking out the jams suffragette style!
Join the Irish Feminist Network in celebrating 100 years of International Women’s Day with a bevvy of talented musicians!
Suffragette City is aimed at not only celebrating IWD but also the talent of indie female musicians from around Ireland. Men and women alike are welcome!
The gig will feature music from:
Included on the night will be a raffle where you could have the chance to win one of our delectable prizes. You gotta be in it to win it!
Doors open at 8pm.
And if you prefer a giggle
08 March · 19:30 – 22:30
Location The Sugar Club, 8 Lower Leeson st., Dublin 2
Created by: The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI)
Join us for our International Women’s Day with a host of hilarious female comedians such as The Nualas, Meave Higgins, Eleanor Tiernen, Sonya Kelly, Margo Carr, Lisa Joyce, Aileen Ivory, Sharon Mannion and Gaby Tzsechloch.
Doors open at 7.30
5 euro unwaged 10 euro unwaged
All proceeds go to raising money for a rape crisis centre in Leitrim
How ever you day goes to day have a good one.