Friday, 8 March 2013

Song and History: International Women's Day 2013

"One Woman" song is performed by 25 singers and musicians from 20 countries for UN Woman. We start by presenting it to you as a happy wish from us at MBH Edmonton. Now it is over 100 years since first marking International Women’s Day (IWD) in the 1900’s. How did it all start?

In 1908 when thousands of women demonstrated in New York streets to demand better pay, work hours, and voting rights, after which a series of events and developments took place up to what we have today as the modern IWD.  

The first declaration of a National WD was in 1909, 28 February, in the USA, when women continued this celebration on the last Sunday of February till 1913.

During the Second International Conference of Working Women (Copenhagen), Clara Zetkin, a socialist party woman leader in Germany at the time, raised the idea of an International WD and it was approved unanimously.
In the following years European countries started observing this day on different days such as March 19 until it was agreed to transfer the date to March 8 internationally in 1913 up to now. 

Rallies took place by men and women to demand women’s rights in work, constitutions, education, holding public office and discrimination. 

Subsequent movements followed such as ‘Bread and Roses’ (1911) and ‘Bread and Peace’ (1917) as a reaction to incidents where women did not get their full rights.

The United Nations has held annual conferences to coordinate efforts towards women’s rights and they marked 1975 as “International Women’s Year”. Different countries also followed pursuit in similar organizing women related events. This has ensured women’s rights are not only maintained but also ensured continuity.

After the year 2000, some countries declared March 8 an official holiday such as Russia, Afghanistan, and Cubain China, Madagascar, and Nepal, for women only. Men usually honor the women in their lives with roses and special gifts, similar to Mother’s Day in some places.

In 2013, some might think woman has been emancipated and an IWD makes her inferior to man. Others might think patriarchal practices against women are still rooted in our societies. In all cases, at this moment, many women around the world continue to live in unjust life and work conditions; many girls are subjected to practices like honor killings, genital mutilation, child brides, and social discrimination. Even females in more developed countries still need a watching eye to protect their rights.

Here is a video by NATO Community briefing highlights in women achievements over the past 100 years.  

And this is a video message form Penny Williams, Global Ambassador for Women and Girls (Australia).  

Each one of us has a responsibility to remember the struggles and celebrate the achievements everyday and anywhere. Give the gift of sweet words of appreciation to the women in your life today and everyday. 
From all of us here at Multicultural Breast Health Project (MBH Edmonton), we wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous IWD! Leave us a comment with your name or initials below sharing your thoughts on IWD :)... 


 - "One Woman" song: 
- IWD's Website: 
- Women demonstration image: 
- "It's Your Day" image: 
- Women union image: 
- Women faces image:  
- Video message from Penny Williams:  
- 8 March image:   

1 comment:

Please include your initials or first name just so we know a bit about you :)....