Keeping Up with Women

March 08, 2016 by Guest Faculty Bloggers

by Karen Suchenski

Happy International Women’s Day, happy Women’s History Month all!

It seems ironic that our all girls’ school has our greatest amount of time off in the academic year during the month designated as women’s history month and that we, a global community of girls, women, and men passionately committed to girls education, are never together on March 8, celebrating International Women’s Day .

But I realized we can be. And we can unite with others in empowering women and girls around the world.

How?

First, learn what international women’s day is all about.

The United Nations officially began sponsoring an annual International Women’s Day in 1975, but the idea for such a day arose from labor activism in the industrializing world of the early 1900s. In the United States, for example, the first Women’s Day was held in 1908 to honor the women’s garment workers strike in New York. Women’s Day now is honored in developed and developing nations alike with a global purpose: in the words of the UN Women Executive Director, it is aimed “to end discrimination and violence against women and girls and ensure equal participation and opportunities in all spheres of life.” (http://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/history.shtml)

In 1982, the US Congress passed a bill declaring March 7 the start of a U.S. Women’s History Week, which was extended into a Women’s History Month in 1987.

You can learn about how the lens of gender can change the way we understand past and current events in our world by browsing the websites of organizations who promote the U.S. Women’s History Month, including the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian, among others. (http://womenshistorymonth.gov/about.html)

Secondly, the United Nations would like us each to take an international pledge called the “50-50 by 2030” campaign working towards gender equality. (http://www.internationalwomensday.com/Pledge)

Finally, wherever you are in the world, you can make a difference. To get inspired, here are some images from inspiring women around the world: (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-35756284). And more in these Guardian video clips: (http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/live/2016/mar/08/international-womens-day-2016-iwd-live.)

Keep up with women who make a world of difference.

From my home in Greenfield, Massachusetts, I wish you a happy Women’s History Month, and peace and parity for men and women all around the world.

Written by Guest Faculty Bloggers

Occasionally we feature guest contributions from members of our faculty. Their voices provide an exclusive view into the classrooms, halls, lounges, and residence halls that make Stoneleigh-Burnham School such a great place to live, work, and study. To find blogs exclusively from our faculty members, use “The Faculty Perspective” category.

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Filed Under: History, Feminism, Education, International Women's Day