On this year’s International Women’s Day, we are celebrating women around the world who are Breaking The Bias
The day celebrates the achievements and contributions of women and girls in different spheres all around the world. The day also spreads awareness about women’s empowerment and gender parity.
The United Nations announced their theme for 2022 as “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” Their events will recognize how women around the world are responding to climate change.
However, the International Women’s Day website has chosen the theme #BreakTheBias and is asking people to imagine “a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination”. The theme is designed to “provide a platform to help forge positive change for women.”
Regardless of age, race, or nationality, powerful and influential women like Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Mo Abudu and many others provide inspiration to millions of girls and women. By working with purpose and confidence, they demonstrate that having strength and tenacity doesn’t mean sacrificing your susceptibility. And all of these women show that failure shouldn’t be an obstacle in meeting your goals.
In the past few years though, there has been progress when it comes to women – especially in female leadership.
Kamala Harris became the first female, first black and first Asian-American US vice-president in 2021. In the same year, Tanzania swore in its first female president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, while Estonia, Sweden, Samoa and Tunisia got female prime ministers for the first time in history. In January 2022, Xiomara Castro was sworn in as Honduras’ first female president.
In 2021, New Zealand approved paid bereavement leave for women (and their partners) who have a miscarriage or stillbirth. While in 2020, Sudan criminalized female genital mutilation.
How It all started
International Women’s Day (IWD), grew out of the labour movement to become an annual event recognized by the United Nations. The seeds were planted in 1908 when 15,000 women marched through New York demanding shorter working hours, better pay, and the right to vote. A year later, the Socialist Party of America declared the first National Woman’s Day.
It was Clara Zetkin, a communist activist and advocate for women’s rights, who suggested the creation of an international day. She put her idea to an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen in 1910 and the 100 women there, from 17 countries, agreed to it unanimously.
International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. The centenary was celebrated in 2011. Things were made official in 1975 when the United Nations started celebrating the day.
Although, Clara’s idea for an International Women’s Day had no fixed date. It wasn’t formalized until a wartime strike in 1917 when Russian women demanded “bread and peace”; four days into the strike the tsar was forced to abdicate and the provisional government granted women the right to vote.
The strike began on March 8 and this became the date that International Women’s Day is celebrated.
Let’s give it to women as they wear a lot of hats. They are mothers, daughters, caregivers, executives, lovers, fighters, dreamers, doers and more.
As we celebrate women all over the world today, imagine a gender-equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.
So, this International Women’s Day, let’s claim “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”
We wish every woman around the world a Happy International Women’s Day.