Women in Power with the International Women’s Day
Do you know Rosa Parks, Kathrine Switzer and Marie Curie? They are all women who fought for their rights and helped change the world by doing so. We celebrate that militancy on 8 March – International Women’s Day.
A bit of history
In 1908 156,000 female textile workers went out on the streets of New York for more pay, shorter working days and the right to vote. A year later the first National Women’s Day became a fact all over America. A number of European countries and Russia quickly followed suit. In the nineteen-sixties there was a second major wave of feminism. Since then International Women’s Day has been celebrated more or less everywhere, mostly with demonstrations, meetings and conferences. The United Nations proclaimed 1975 International Women’s Year.
There’s work to be done
Today International Women’s Day is still very necessary, because according to the predictions inequality between men and women will not be completely eliminated till 2133. That’s if we continue to make progress at the same rate at least. So there’s work to be done! That’s why we need bold, spirited women. Women who can make a difference with both big and small actions. Let yourself be inspired by the wonderful examples below.
Rosa Parks is a big name in the United States. On 1 December 1955 she refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. As a black woman, she was legally obliged to do so. When she also refused to pay a 10 dollar fine she was arrested. Rosa stood her ground though and eventually the American Supreme Court ruled in her favour: the separation of white and black people was abolished.
Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to finish the Boston marathon as a registered participant. She did it in 1967 when she was just a student, although women have only been allowed to participate officially since 1972. She signed her entry form with the gender-neutral K.V. Switzer – and that was it! But she hadn’t reckoned on sport official Jock Semple. Totally flabbergasted when he saw Kathrine taking part, he literally tried to drag her out of the race. Photos of the incident got into the world press and the indignation was great. But fortunately Kathrine reached the finish.
Who was the first person to win a Nobel Prize twice? It was Marie Curie. In 1883 she dreamed of studying at Warsaw University, but she was refused entry because she was a woman. Marie didn’t give up and followed evening classes at a secret university. Nearly ten years later she got a chance to move to Paris. There she began a valuable scientific career – and found love as well. As the discoverer of radio activity, her importance is difficult to overestimate.
And you? Will you help make the difference?
Our Ladies Afterwork on Tuesday 8 March will be focussed on International Women’s Day. So drum up all your women friends and let yourselves be completely spoiled between 18.00 and 22.00! Let the pampering begin!