Sunday, March 8, 2009

International Women's Day

Today, Sunday March 8th, marks International Women's Day around the world. IWD is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

In some countries (eg Russia, China, Vietnam and Bulgaria), IWD is a national holiday. The first IWD was held in 1911. At that time IWD was a powerful tool for campaigning for equality of rights for women. Millions of men and women marched and protested against the inequalities that seem incomprehensible to us now.

In more recent years the day has been more one of celebration for all that has been achieved for women. Most of us can vote, we can raise a family as well as hold a job, and we have choices our grandmothers never had.

The official International Women's Day website has links and information about issues still of concern for women. It also lists nearly a thousand IWD events scheduled all around the world.

We didn't get the Dunedin Labour Women's event listed there this year - maybe next time.

It's interesting to see that we aren't the only Kiwi group to plan to climb up a hill to celebrate IWD day. Auckland Regional Migrant Services invited women of all ethnicities to climb to the top of Mt Eden for a 'Women on the Summit' celebration. Apparently they had to reschedule to an indoor event because of bad weather. Here in Dunedin we had a beautiful day for the climb but there was a weather change later and we had to move our picnic site from the windy side of the hill to a more sheltered back yard. And just as we were clearing up the rain started.

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