As we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) it’s important to remember not only how far women have come in achieving equality with men, but how far this day has come.
The first IWD was held in 1909 in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. Since its birth in the socialist movement, IWD has grown, just as women’s rights in social, political, and economic processes have grown. The day has become a global day of recognition and celebration are held across developed and developing countries alike.
Today, IWD is an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. While it may not be considered a holiday everywhere, annually on March 8, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, and colleagues 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.
Great improvements have been made since the celebration began in 1909. There are female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, and women can both work and have a family. Women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.
And there are plenty of positive things happening in the Elk Valley this IWD.
In Fernie, Goddess Rising will be taking over Traynor Hall at Fernie Secondary School for the day. Women of all ages are encouraged to come out for a full day of empowering workshops, dance, yoga, pampering sessions, and live music. The Fernie Women’s Resource Centre is also hosting a night of live musical performances at The Arts Station starting at 6:30 pm.
In Sparwood, the Greenwood Mall will be hosting the community’s first International Women’s Day Market. The event will feature live entertainment from local singers and speakers, as well as yoga and Pilates demonstrations. Throughout the day there will be a bake sale and crafters will be on hand selling all sorts of goodies.
So on Saturday, make sure you celebrate. Celebrate your mother, grandmother, aunt, daughter, co-worker, or best friend. And for all of us women, let’s celebrate each other.