International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements from the political to the social while calling for gender equality. It has been observed since the early 1900s and is now recognized each year on March 8. The theme for International Women’s Day 2018, is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.”
This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. This has taken the form of global marches and campaigns, including #MeToo and #TimesUp in the United States of America and their counterparts in other countries, on issues ranging from sexual harassment and femicide to equal pay and women’s political representation. International Women’s Day will also draw attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population, and are being left behind in every measure of development. The goal is to transform the momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and to celebrate those who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.
May all be equal in our time.
Raise your own awareness and educate yourself about conditions here and around the world. Teach young girls not to accept feminine stereotypes. Teach young boys that girls are their equals. Watch one of the UN Women videos by clicking below.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.
António Guterres, UN Secretary General
Only in the last half of the twentieth century did women begin to break down educational barriers and enter new world arenas. Only then did women historians begin to uncover the unpublished, unhung, unmarketed works of women from centuries past. Only then did ideas like these ever hope to see the light in print. Now we take the words for granted, but we fail to admit that nothing much has changed as a result of them.
Joan Chittister, OSB
No force is more unstoppable than a woman with deep conviction. She’s a teacher, entrepreneur, and peacemaker. She’s an innovator, nurturer, and warrior. She’s a leader. And yet, she’s limited by circumstance.
We want to construct a different world of work for women. As they grow up, girls must be exposed to a broad range of careers, and encouraged to make choices that lead beyond the traditional service and care options to jobs in industry, art, public service, modern agriculture and science. We have to start change at home and in the earliest days of school, so that there are no places in a child’s environment where they learn that girls must be less, have less, and dream smaller than boys.
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life, grandmothers, teachers, aunts, cousins, neighbors who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.
We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.
Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law. If someone says, ‘Oh, I’m not a feminist,’ I ask, ‘Why, what’s your problem?’
The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.
Aung San Suu Kyi
It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.
The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.
The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world.
We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.
We must raise both the ceiling and the floor.
You don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman.
Jane Galvin Lewis