Archive for March 7th, 2012

Women’s issues book? Make your mark on March 8, International Women’s Day.

While I find politics fascinating and am fairly forthcoming with my perspectives on my personal Facebook page, I do my best to maintain neutrality in this blog, which isn’t all that difficult because it never really comes up. However, you’d have to be living under that proverbial rock if you aren’t aware how prominent women’s issues are in the news right now or how big a role they may play in this year’s U.S. Presidential election. If your book is in any way tied to women’s issues, tomorrow, March 8, is a date of note, as it is International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900s. The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on February 28, 1909. In 1910, an International Conference of Working Women, attended by more than 100 women from 17 countries, was held in Copenhagen. At this conference, a woman named Clara Zetkin proposed that every year in every country there should be Women’s Day a celebration on the same day to press for their demands. Following a decision agreed on at the Copenhagen conference, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honored for the first time on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. As interest grew, more than one million women and men attended IWD rallies to campaign for women’s rights to work, vote, receive training, hold public office, and to end discrimination. In 1917, the international commemoration was officially moved to March 8.

Today, women’s organizations and governments around the world observe IWD annually on March 8 by holding large-scale events that honor women’s advancement. Of equal importance, the annual IWD celebrations and commemorations remind us all of the continued vigilance and action necessary to achieve and maintain equality for women in all areas of life. IWD 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. As part of the IWD tradition, men honor their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, and other women in their lives with flowers and small gifts. In some countries, IWD has a status equal to that of America’s Mother’s Day.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2012 is “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty.” More than 1,450 events are scheduled worldwide to celebrate IWD 2012. Search here by country or click this link to list your own event. Follow, or better yet, join the conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #womensday.

Just a handful of examples of IWD events:

  • The International Women’s Day Revue will take place in Toronto, featuring a slew of fiercely talented artists. All proceeds will go to the children of political prisoner Liliany Obando, who has been imprisoned for more than three years without trial in Colombia.
  • Helmet for Women’s Safety is a campaign running now through March 31 in Delhi to bring awareness to women’s cycling safety, which has become an issue because Delhi’s helmet laws do not apply to women.
  • The Coalition for Peace in Africa will celebrate IWD by marking the achievements of women in economic, political and social spheres. One of these activities is the launch of their book, Achievements, Challenges and Opportunities for Women in the Conflict Zones of Kenya`s Uasin Gishu,Trans Nzoia and Mount Elgon, which tells the stories of 25 rural women who are working toward women’s empowerment.
  • On March 9, International Women’s Day Korea is hosting a cocktail reception and panel discussion focusing on the present and future of girls/women in the sciences.
  • Women Alive! Hospitality Center and Emergency Shelter will host Womanhood, Femininity, and Homelessness, a dialogue between the women of the Dorothy’s Place Hospitality Center and the community regarding these issues on March 8 in Salinas, California.

Celebrate the women!



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