March 7, 2015

Make It Happen: International Women's Day 2015

The first time I personally heard of International Women’s Day (IWD) was in my twenty-second year of life.  After researching it, I realized how dire the situation was – a holiday this important should not go ignored!  This is the time to uphold women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and focus greater attention on women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part.  United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon summed up recently what has been published time and time again: “When we unleash the power of women, we can secure the future for all.”

Each year IWD is celebrated on March 8.  The first was held in 1911, and we’ve come a long way since.  In 2015, thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political, and social achievements of women – organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations, and the media celebrate the day.  There are many ways to get involved on an individual basis as well.  There are social media trends (Twitter hashtag, anyone?) and local events, such as movie showings and parades.  You can sport the colors – purple, by the way – or just have a simple conversation with someone about the importance of this day.

In Paris, there was the “Re-Thinking Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality in 2015 and Beyond” international conference, artistic exhibitions at the Salle des Pas Perdus and Salle des Actes, and museum expos.  There's plenty to do, just not enough time to fit it all in!