International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality. – http://www.internationalwomensday.com
International women’s day is marked to celebrate so many things; it stretches back to the early 1900s when the revolution of women’s votes began. Since then the day has been marked as a form of celebration and awareness. We celebrate the achievements of women around the World, raise awareness of equality, and this year in particular International Women’s day wants to “choose to challenge”. This is a worldwide challenge which aims to create an inclusive World. “A challenged World is an alert World. And from challenge comes change. So let’s all #ChooseToChallenge.” This international women’s day we can all raise a hand to demonstrate that we are willing to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.
Here are a few ways I’ve been celebrating and remembering International Women’s Day
Over the past month I’ve been reading A History of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray. This is a fantastic book, published in 2016, and is for people like me who have limited historical knowledge but want to know more about women’s history. Murray begins her recount of history with Boadicea (around 60 CE) the and finishes with Nicola Sturgeon in our current time. You don’t need to like all of these women, but after reading what they accomplished and how it has help bring about change in our World I have so much respect for them. This book is a fantastic introduction that has left a lasting impact on the way I see my role as a woman (I will do a whole book review about it at some point).
Not only have I been brushing up on my history, I also have been designing. I have taken inspiration from an old poster I saw in a Victorian town and created this Votes for Women cross stitch pattern. The colours red, white and green are the colours of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (also known as suffragists). They were founded in 1897 and later in 1919 were renamed as the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship. ‘This organisation was democratic and non-militant, aiming to achieve women’s suffrage through peaceful and legal means, in particular by introducing Parliamentary Bills and holding meetings to explain and promote their aims.’ Their leader was a wonderful woman by the name of Millicent Fawcett, she had a terrific knack for reasoned argument and a lifelong commitment to see women win the right to vote (among many other aspirations). She was a revolutionist, a formidable speaker and a woman after my own heart. We have a lot to thank her for (as well as the Suffragettes of course), so I created this design to celebrate not only International Women’s Day but also to celebrate the women that came before us that chose to challenge gender inequality.
So what will you do for International Women’s Day? Who will you celebrate? How will you remember? Let me know, and if you have a woman in your life worth celebrating, I would love to hear why in the comments below. (Don’t forget to #ChooseToChallenge.)
Until next time.