Today (Thursday 8th March 2018) is International Women’s Day and the theme for this year is #PressForProgress. The aim is to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.
This day is a global day which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women which started in 1908. In 1908 there was a critical debate amongst women and their oppression and inequality was driving women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
World-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist, Gloria Steinem once said ‘The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights’. Because of what Gloria said, International Women’s Day is about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.
Four colours now signify International Women’s Day and all have their own meaning:
- Purple – Signifies justice and dignity
- Green – Symbolises hope
- White – Represents purity however it is no longer used
- Yellow – Represents ‘new dawn’ which is commonly used to signify a second wave of feminism
On the day before World War 1 campaigning for peace, Russian women recognised their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913 and following discussions, the day was transferred to the 8th March and has stayed this date ever since.
To the present and future, International Women’s Day has now become an official holiday in a lot of countries, such as Afghanistan, Cuba, China (for women only), Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam to name a few. In some countries, International Women’s Day has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day.
We were able to download for #PressForProgress selfie cards which HICSE colleagues had a look through and chose their favourite one out of the collection to then have their photograph taken and for them to be uploaded onto social media with the hashtag #PressForProgress.
If you would like to find out more about International Women’s Day, visit www.internationalwomensday.com #PressForProgress