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Happy International Women’s Day!

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So today March, 8th is International Women’s Day.. but what actually does this day bring?

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world. “Celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. ”

“Yet let’s also be aware progress has slowed in many places across the world, so urgent action is needed to accelerate gender parity. Leaders across the world are pledging to take action as champions of gender parity.”

IWD was started in recognition of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York City, where women protested against their working conditions. This wasn’t a protest asking for parity, it was a protest asking for improvement – for workplace safety and economic and political rights. These were women who wanted to make the world better not only for women, but also for men. It was about improving the workplace, about elevating everyone rather than just bringing women on to the same level. Perhaps the current state of women’s rights around the world makes us think that asking for parity is already such a huge step that expecting anything more would be impossible. But why should women continue to struggle in a world that doesn’t even reward all men equally, merely those who buy into the alpha male stereotype we’ve been promoting for so long?

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From the longest-serving First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt who once said: “A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”, to 18-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai who said “I don’t want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up”.

The original aim of the day – to achieve full gender equality for women the world – has still not been realised. A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Figures show that globally, women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men.

Countries celebrate it in different ways. It is an official holiday in a number of places including: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.

People release lanterns on the eve of International Women’s Day in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

3000Other countries celebrate it in a similar way to Mother’s Day with men presenting their wives, girlfriends, mothers and female  friends with flowers and gifts.

So women, lets celebrate not just today.. but everyday!

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