Mar 8 2012

International Women’s Day: where are we today?

8 March is celebrated as Women’s Day all over the world. While the tone of celebrations may vary, it’s mostly a day to look back at the women’s movement for equal rights and opportunity and to assess where we stand now. Here we look at highlights from the web today.

I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves. — Mary Wollstonecraft, author of ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Woman’, 1792

Women’s struggle for equality is a few centuries old but it wasn’t until 1910 that we started celebrating International Women’s Day. Today, IWD is a national holiday in 20 countries and is celebrated in many different ways across the globe, setting out women’s rights and equality as a global agenda.

While Google is celebrating International Women’s Day through its colourful doodle, the Guardian has put together an interactive map marking what can be celebrated in the world today. Women from UK, Russia, China, India, US, Chile, Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan write about the achievements of the women’s movements in these countries.

Closer to home, Prime Minister David Cameron has today contributed a blog to the Huffington Post denouncing violence against women. The day was also chosen by the government to sign up to the Council of Europe’s convention on violence against women.

In the blog post, Cameron writes,

Every day millions around the world live in fear. A woman caught up in conflict in Eastern Congo dreads being raped. A girl in the Horn of Africa is forced into genital mutilation. A woman in London is threatened with violence but can’t get anyone to take her seriously.

Downing Street is today hosting a reception for International Women’s Day and is also displaying tweets about IWD in its reception area.

At the other end of the spectrum, Polly Toynbee discusses why this is not a good time to be a British woman. Critcising government policies, she says this is the first time in living history that “British women’s freedoms have gone into reverse“.

Stepping back from home politics, we came across a fantastic poster published by the University and College Union (UCU) marking International Women’s Day. Download the poster for a timeline of women’s progress, important facts and figures, influential women and much more.

Finally, we came across this video of a suffragette procession in Trafalgar Square in 1913 led by Sylvia Pankhurst -

Did you read, watch or hear anything interesting today? Let us know in the comments below or write to us at Equality.and.Diversity@lse.ac.uk.

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One Response to International Women’s Day: where are we today?

  1. Pingback: The week that was… | Equality and Diversity at LSE

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