Last week it was International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
International Women’s Day (IWD) has been celebrated since 1908 during the time of great industrial expansion, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
With greater equality in choices, more women achieving executive level roles, the right to work alongside having a family and equal rights to education, the world has witnessed positive change. However, despite these achievements, inequality still exists.
In 2017 women are still paid less than men performing the same job. The number of women working in business and politics is not yet equal and internationally women struggle to gain education, face generally worse health and higher levels of violence. It is important to recognise IWD in order to inspire future generations and celebrate how far we have come.
In many countries around the world IWD is an official holiday, and men will traditionally express love and care for their mothers, wives and girlfriends. In some countries it has become the equivalent of Mother’s Day, with children celebrating by sending presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
Despite International Women’s Day being a day of celebration throughout the globe, in addition to many global corporations (such as BP, Vodafone and Avon) actively supporting the day through their own campaigns, IWD is not owned or defined by one location, organisation or company. It is a collection of women from all around the world, separated by distance but connected by passion, coming together to take part in a range of events to create further change. Previous years have seen activities within Governments, political protests, business conferences and networking events. Every year IWD is recognised more and more.