National Women’s Day
National Women’s Day offers a wonderful opportunity to recognize, honor and celebrate women all around the globe. Women have been subject to gender oppression at various times throughout history. Modern times have seen the struggle against oppression of women go on for over a century. The first American celebration of “Women’s Day”, was held in Chicago, Illinois, and New York City in 1908. International Women’s Day, which was first celebrated in 1911, attracted more than 1,000,000 people to protests around the globe. However, South African women have been fighting for greater freedoms during Apartheid. These laws were extremely discriminatory against women, especially black women. On August 9, 1956, more than 20,000 women from different races marched in Pretoria to protest the Apartheid government’s unfair rule. The march involved delivering over 14000 petitions at the government buildings and a 30-minute protest in which women stood silently. In 1975, the United Nations declared the first UN-supported International Women’s Day. The United Nations General Assembly encouraged its member countries to observe Women’s Day on March 31st 1977 as an opportunity to promote women’s rights and world peace. South Africa’s first National Women’s Day was established in 1995 almost 40 years after the Women’s March in Pretoria. As a nod, the National Women’s Day is celebrated in South Africa on August 8. These are some ideas to get involved in National Women’s Day. National Women’s Day is an excellent day to recognize the importance of women within the family and community and to show how they are valued and appreciated. Most women would love to be treated with affection, whether it be flowers, cards, or a simple thank-you. Sometimes they have legal rights, but are not being treated well. Other times, it is legal for women to suffer unfair treatment. Signing petitions, marching in rallies or raising a voice for women’s rights could be one way to advocate for their rights. Another option is to fight to lower gender pay disparities with your company or employer, or to ensure that girls have equal access to the same sports as boys in your locality. It doesn’t matter what each individual feels passionate about, it is a great place to start advocating for the women of tomorrow and today. Many charities offer volunteer opportunities and support for equal rights for women. There are many charities that offer ways to get involved and show their support with financial donations.