What makes International Women’s Day the most incredible for me is its global nature. On March 8th, 2017, we celebrated the women in our life, and women around the world stood up and made their voices heard. To give a glimpse of how this day was celebrated world-wide, here are how different countries celebrated International Women’s Day:
Today, ‘Daughters of the Vote’ took the place of their Members of Parliament in the House of Commons and got the chance to highlight the issues important to them. It was incredible to see the Parliament filled with such a diverse group of women, especially as the Canadian government is still male-dominated. A particular highlight was delegate Srosh Hassana’s speech on islamophobia and racism in Canada, which I highly recommend watching.
The United States
The Women’s March on Washington held their “A Day Without a Woman” strike, in which women were encouraged to abstain from paid and unpaid work, wear red, and boycott big business. Rallies were also held in tandem with the strike in cities across the United States. The lead organizers of the Women’s March on Washington were even arrested as they protested outside the Trump International Hotel in New York City.
New York City also introduced the world to the ‘Fearless Girl’ statue, which was placed in Wall Street on the eve of International Women’s Day. This statue aims to bring attention to the small number of women that hold high positions on Wall Street. Here’s to breaking the glass ceiling!
In response to a lack of representation in Parliament, laws that prohibit a woman from passing her nationality on to her children if she marries a foreigner, domestic violence, and a penal code that allows rapists to escape unpunished if they are married to their victim, women in Lebanon took to the streets today to make their demands known.
In protest against the war in Yemen, women stood outside of the United Nations headquarters in Sanaa to make it clear to the world that the blockade of Yemen must stop, and that the suffering of Yemeni women must be given attention and put to an end.
As a reminder that governments are capable of listening to our demands, Iceland announced today that it will be the first country worldwide to demand that employers offer equal pay for equal work regardless of nationality, sexuality, ethnicity and gender. In solidarity with the women and those marginalized in Iceland, I certainly hope this legislation will pass!
These are only a few examples of the hundreds of demonstrations that happened throughout the world on March 8th. Although International Women’s Day has come to an end, the fight for women’s rights will continue every day!