“An egalitarian world is an enabled world”. This is the central message of #EachForEqual, this year’s International Women’s Day campaign. It seeks to draw attention to the idea that gender inequality is not a problem of women, but economic, since gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive.
The #EachForEqual campaign has become the movement’s slogan, which extends well beyond March 8, with year-round activities. The idea is to reinforce collective action, driving events and talks aimed at women’s empowerment.
International Women’s Day is a day dedicated to honouring women’s achievements throughout history and around the world, and it’s usually a day for women from all different backgrounds and cultures to come together to fight for gender parity and their rights
Why is International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8?
International Women’s Day has a rich history of more than 108 years: its origins date back to the mid-19th century (1857) in the midst of the industrial revolution, when thousands of workers decided to march through New York City demanding voting rights, better wages and fewer hours of work. In 1910, a woman named Clara Zetkin, who played a key role in the history of socialism and the women’s movement as the leader of the “women’s office” for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, presented the idea of International Women’s Day. She suggested that each country should celebrate women one day each year to press for their demands. Equal opportunities and the struggle for women’s suffrage were Clara Zetkin’s two main feminist struggles, always from the Marxist perspective. But in addition, it highlights its strong opposition to war and pacifism. Several years later, another event was the incident of the Triangle Shirtwaist shirt factory also in New York, where more than a hundred women lost their lives.
It took 67 years for the UN to declare 8 March as International Women’s Day (1975), so from then we celebrate it every year. However, long before this feminist movement emerged during the Industrial Revolution, there have been women of great power, intelligence, and the authority to change the world; an achievement that has dual merit, taking into account the time when many of them lived, such as Hipatia of Alexandria, Wu Zetian, Joan of Arc, Mary Wollstonecraft or Olympe de Gouges, among others. And many who have subsequently followed the feminist legacy such as Susan B. Anthony, Virginia Woolf, Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, Simone de Beauvoir, Eva Perón or Rigoberta Menchú.
International Women’s Day is a global celebration of women’s well-being. It began at a time of great social turbulence and inherited a tradition of protest and political activism. Since its inception, however, there has been a pattern of racial exclusion of women, specifically black women. Few mentions are made of the countless black women who have also contributed to the struggle for women’s liberation and rights. Practically, none of them were made visible until the advent of black feminism in the 1960s such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Jacobs, Madame CJ Walker, Anna Julia Cooper and Ida Wells Barnett, among others. And from there, all the feminist movements that have subsequently emerged based on racism have provided new benchmarks to give a voice to the voiceless.
Given its importance, we must think of gender from interculturality. All women must be incorporated into a single discourse in which their own codes are understood and recognized her identity and diversity.
Currently, women like Malala Yousafzai, Chimamanda Ngozi, Sheryl Sandberg, Tarana Burke, Asia Argento, Kavita Ramdas, Emma Watson, Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Leticia Dolera, Roxane Gay, Ursula Corberó, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Meryl Clinton Streep, Jane Fonda, Beyoncé, Amanda Seyfried, Yara Shahidi and Taylor Swift among thousands of other; events like the March in Washington after Donald Trump’s investiture against misogyny, #Metoo movement in Hollywood or the multi-dynamic 8-M demonstrations around the world are a clear example of which the struggle for women’s rights remains a major challenge in society and this March 8, 2020 with the slogan #EachforEqual, we hope to continue to inspire others to challenge prejudice, challenge stereotypes and celebrate women’s achievements.