Throughout history, women have faced inequality and injustice. Though women’s contributions to society have been many and crucial to the way our world is today, a majority of history books don’t credit them.
In the past, women were not able to work, forced to conform with gender roles, and not allowed to vote. Today, the hardships and problems are still there. There are reports of infanticide in China and India. The rights of women with regard to voting, education, and divorce are still not established in other countries. And even in the West, women are paid only 80% of what men receive for the same work.
The lack of rights for women is an important issue in our world today. Such problems gave rise to International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Both holidays take place in the month of March.
Origin Of These Days
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a holiday dedicated to women around the world. It formed as a result of the garments worker’s strikes in New York, where women marched to demand better pay, equal rights, and shorter working hours. Because of that, a year later, in February of 1909, International Women’s Day was first observed in countries around the world.
Then, in 1978, Women’s History Week was first celebrated in the US. A parade and celebrations hosted by various local schools in Sonoma Valley, California spurred an uprising of events across the nation. Finally, President Jimmy Carter established it as Women’s History week in 1980. Eventually the week expanded into Women’s History Month when Congress passed the movement.
Celebrations and Continuing the Movement
Both of these holidays are to celebrate the contributions women have made to society, whether it be social, economic, cultural, or political. Every year, a theme is chosen for the two holidays.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange. This theme encourages women to speak up and fight for gender equality. Events are worldwide: a march is taking place in London and many other cities are hosting speaker events. In contrast, the theme for Women’s History Month is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.”
Either way, these two holidays are very important in our world today. It’s important to continue fighting for women’s rights, and hopefully one day escape the discrimination for a better and more welcoming society.
Here are a few of the bold and accomplished women we have profiled on Youngzine in the past -