International Women’s Day

…was yesterday. But you know, I always like belated birthday presents because they sort of extend the holiday a bit, so let’s think of belated blog posts as serving the same purpose.

The following summary is from the official IWD web-page:

2000 – 2007
IWD is now an official holiday in Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring 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.

The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.

(Sure would be nice to have it as an official holiday in the US)

I don’t have a whole lot to say about IWD, except that I’m glad it exists and look forward to a day when we can simply celebrate women’s achievements rather than hope for more (you know, when all the -ism struggles are out the window). I’m not sure if that’ll happen in my lifetime. But when I feel a bit downtrodden I love to watch this speech by Isabelle Allende (I think I may have posted it before, but I’m not sure, apologies if I did). So, in honor of IWD and women everywhere, enjoy this video (and many others on “Ted”):


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