So I was brainstorming on what we can do as an organization on that day as we celebrate and commemorate the day. Then I asked myself why do we commemorate International Women’s Day, as a feminist my first response was to say its the push for affirmative action and a day to celebrate women, I mean we have a lot of issues that need to be addressed and blaah blaaah blaah. Then I thought we already have Mothers Day, why International Women’s Day.
What’s so special about it? why should a stranger in the road say to me on the 8thof March if we meet Happy International Women’s Day?
History lesson for just two minutes, International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.The first International Women’s Day occurred on March 19 in 1911. The inaugural event, which included rallies and organized meetings, was a big success in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The March 19 date was chosen because it commemorated the day that the Prussian king promised to introduce votes for women in 1848.
The promise gave hope for equality but it was a promise that he failed to keep. The International Women’s Day date was moved to March 8 in 1913. The UN drew global attention to women’s concerns in 1975 by calling for an International Women’s Year. It also convened the first conference on women in Mexico City that year. The UN General Assembly then invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace in 1977. The day aimed to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women. It also focused on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development.
International Men’s Day is also celebrated on November 19 each year. (Yeaaaa definitely going to celebrate this too and will write something as well)
I hope I didn’t lose you in our history lesson, so now you know why we celebrate International Women’s Day. I thought I should share why me as a proud black African women I celebrate it and maybe you can also think around why you should also celebrate it.
For me its a day of reflecting on the past and current initiatives successful or otherwise to address issues of gender inequalities and injustices. Its a day to celebrate different women who did different and complex things for women to be who their are today. Its a day I celebrate my female friends, co-workers, female faith based leaders, full time stay home mothers, co-operative women, market female vendors, female military uniformed forces, females living with disabilities and pushing for Disability inclusion and every other female individual who in their sphere big or small pushes for the empowerment of a woman.
For me its a day to remind me that I need to do more so my daughter, niece, sister, mother, aunt, grandma and granddaughter can fully enjoy being a woman. I hope you will also find your reason of celebrating the day.
So for me I celebrate International Women’s Day not just on 8 March but every day as i push and hope that my family, work, community, country and the world can become woman friendly. With that I say woMandla!!!
Tadiwanashe Burukai is a Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights activist, she is a Project Officer for My Age Zimbabwe Trust.
Twitter: @TadieBurukai @MyAgeZim.org