Today is International Women’s Day – Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation wishes all women and girls around the world a very Happy International Women’s Day!
According to sources from the United Nations, Women’s Day was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1909, by the American Socialist Party on that last Sunday in February. A year later in 1910, the International Socialist Women’s conference decided on an International Women’s Day. On March 19, 1911, the day was first celebrated as International Women’s Day. As the years progressed, women around the world began to observe the day, especially in 1914 when Russian women and many other European women gathered in support against the war on March 8th. By 1945, the day was celebrated in all socialist countries in Europe. The United Nations decided to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, which was during the International Women’s Year.
The website for International Women’s Day states that this day is a time to reflect the progress made, to celebrate the acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in history. It also states that this day should be used as a call for change. So as women around the world celebrate the social economic, cultural and political achievement of women, we must also remember the work that is still ahead. We must focus on Planet 50-50 by 2030. It is the U.N.’s agenda for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030, which includes the end to female genital mutilation/cutting.
There are so many women who quietly work on behalf of the wellbeing and safety of women and girls; so Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation wants to celebrate not only the women listed in this article but all women around the world today. We had listed close to fifty women and unfortunately we are unable to list everyone by name. If you are working on behalf of women and girls somewhere in the world, know that you are celebrated today by Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation.
Gloria Marie Steinem is an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader and spokeswoman for the feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Shelby Quast is an American advocate and lobbyist, and works closely with judges, lawyers, government officials and NGOs to advance human rights for women and girls and inform policy, both in the US and abroad.
Layli Miller-Muro, an American attorney and activist is the Founder and Executive Director of Tahirih Justice Center, a national non-profit dedicated to protecting women from human rights abuses.
Dr. Marci Bowers is a highly regarded OB/GYN and a pelvic and gynecologic surgeon with more than 25 years of experience in Women’s Healthcare, and is known internationally for her restorative work with women who have experienced Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGMC).
Nadine Gary is a committed activist against female genital mutilation/cutting, and the Director of Communications for Clitoraid, Inc. Her position ensures a flow of communication among the different chapters set on the 5 continents where Clitoraid is represented as well as between doctors and patients.
Fartun Weli, a Somali immigrant to the U.S. is the Founder and Executive Director of Isuroon which is a non-profit group dedicated to promoting the health and empowerment of Minnesota’s Somali women.
Jaha Dukureh, a Gambian immigrant to the U.S. is the Founder of Safe Hands for Girls and an activist against female genital mutilation/cutting. She has been instrumental in getting the U.S. Congress to pay attention to FGM/C in the U.S.
Waris Dirie, a Somali immigrant to Austria has been advocating against FGM/C since late in the 20th Century. She has authored several books about the practice of FGM/C, and continues to work on behalf of women and girls in Europe and Africa.
Francess Cole, a Sierra Leonean immigrant is the Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit, Life After FGM. She is a dynamic public speaker and activist against FGM/C, and has authored a book about her experience with FGM/C.
Hibo Wardere, a Somali immigrant to the U.K. and Teacher Assistant is now the Waltham Forest FGM Mediator in the U.K. She was instrumental in getting the U.K. school system to include FGM/C in their Child Protection Policy and curriculum.
Fatoumata Kande-Kouyate, a Guinean immigrant to the U.S. is the President of Inter-African Committee (IAC-USA), and one of the leaders of the Guinean Women Association in the U.S. She is an advocate and activist in the campaign against FGM/C.
Here are some statistics to ponder today:
- Only 22% of world parliamentarians or congress people are women
- Women earn 24% less than men worldwide
- Out of the 500 companies listed by Fortune magazine two years ago, only 25 women were CEOs.
- Women account for 60% of all illiterate people worldwide
- Women’s presence in the media is only at about 26%
- Almost all developing countries have reached gender parity in primary schools
- One in every three women is the victim of physical or sexual violence worldwide
Due to the special edition for International Women’s Day, we will resume the column, An Exclusive next week. Thank you for the many positive comments to An Exclusive. Stay tuned next week.