Have you heard about International Women’s Day? Celebrated this year on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, this year commemorates the one hundredth year celebration. International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.
The theme set by the United Nations this year is: Equal access to education, training, and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.
Countries and organizations in each country are invited to set themes of their own for IWD each year. Some of the themes this year include:
– Global, United Nations: Women and men united to end violence against women and girls
– Canada, Status of Women (Federal Gov): Strong Leadership. Strong Women. Strong World: Equality
– Australia, UNIFEM: Unite to End Violence Against Women
– Australia, Queensland Government Office for Women: Our Women, Our State
– Australia, WA Department for Communities: Sharing the Caring for the Future
– UK, Doncaster Council: Women’s Voices and Influence
– UK, Welsh Assembly Government: Bridging the Generational Gap
– UK, Accenture: Stretch Yourself: Achieving 50:50 in the boardroom by 2020
– USA, IBM: Success in the Globally Integrated Enterprise
According to the IWD organization, the event is now an official holiday in 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. The tradition sees men honoring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
Thousands of events are held throughout the world on March 8th to inspire women and celebrate achievements. Thinking global and acting local, the event unites and connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.
The IWD organization is also inviting women to submit their artwork and stories to be considered.
From the IWD website -”The Global IWD Women’s Arts Initiative celebrates the collective creative ability of women. 2011 sees 100 years since the first International Women’s Day was held so to mark this special Centenary the ‘100 Women, 100 Artworks‘ and ‘100 Women, 100 Stories‘ initiative was launched. All the artworks (paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, drawings, sketches, collages …) and stories have been created by diverse women from around the world to inspire, challenge, entertain and provoke thought from a gender angle. The impressive artworks celebrate the artistic grace of women. The stories are of celebration, hurt, triumph, shock, humour, anger, remembrance and question.”
Many global corporations are supporting IWD by running their own internal events and supporting external ones. Google some years even changes its logo on its search pages for the event. International Women’s Day supporters include the European Investment Bank, Allianz, and African Development Bank Group.
Are you hosting a themed event for IWD within your corporation or organization? If so, we’d love to hear about it, post a comment here and let us know! More information on the official International Women’s Day website.
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