Happy 100th International Women’s Day! Today, women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions – national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and for looking ahead to the potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.
More than one million women – and men – attended rallies on the first day of commemoration on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, following its establishment during the Socialist International meeting the prior year. International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in both developed and developing countries. The growing international women’s movement has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas. It is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
Instead of commenting on protests in Egypt today, I wanted to mention the women who marched in the Philippines to show their support for gender-based justice. But, bringing today’s commemoration closer to Egypt is the Citizenship for Saudi Women, which calls for the inclusion of women into the social sector.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who was imprisoned for 15 years by Burma’s repressive government, is a symbol of hope not only for her people, but for women around the world. Although I don’t love admitting I read Glamour Magazine, I enjoyed the publication’s interview with the Nobel Peace Prize winner because it demonstrates her bravery and courage – two traits every woman should aspire to possess.
But the celebration isn’t just for one day; it should be for a lifetime.
Inserted photo from Wikimedia Commons.