Today, Thursday March 8th, has been International Womenís Day.
If you found yourself nodding in recognition to any of the above, then, all things considered, youíre doing pretty well. For one thing, you have unfettered access to the Internet, from which you can do things like tweet or update your Facebook status or find out after a quick Google search that there is, in fact, an International Menís Day as well (November 19th - itís true). You also have the time to enjoy that unfettered access to the Internet, even if itís just during your lunch break. Freedom - isnít it great?
Now, obviously, International Womenís Day is about far more than access to the Internet. Itís also about more than a simple celebration of women in general, be they feminist heroes or an admired relative. International Womenís Day is an oft-misunderstood day here in the UK, where itís often treated with a bemused thumbs-up, usually confused as a day for feminists. Yay Feminism! Why arenít we all equal yet?
But no. International Womenís Day is not just a day for feminists, and itís not just an all-womankind equivalent to Motherís Day. Itís not even simply a day set apart solely to praise and be thankful for the successes of feminists in the past. International Womenís Day has been running on the same day every year for over a century and it actually has deeply political roots, having begun as a political event organised by the Socialist Party of America. The original event was part of a wider strategy to further the struggle for equal rights, like suffrage. In the many years since then, the event has grown across the world, with some countries such as Afghanistan, Uganda, Russia and Mongolia recognising a public holiday in celebration.
In the present, each International Womenís day is organised around a theme. This yearís theme, determined by the UN, was Empower Rural Women - End Hunger and Poverty. Various events and campaigns have been taking place in order to raise awareness of this issue across the world. Though it is disappointing that the underlying humanitarian importance of International Womenís Day has not received much attention in the UK, it is still gratifying that the event is acknowledged in a country where gender equality is often taken for granted, despite the fact that gender equality issues such as the pay gap persist.
Writing from the perspective as a female health blogger, I am taking today to appreciate how far women have come since the first International Womenís Day. Here at euroClinix, we sell a range of womenís health products that would simply have been unthinkable in 1911. A pill to give women control over their sex lives? Patches to help increase sex drive? Treatment to hold off an inconvenient period? Itís easy to take these things for granted nowadays, especially when the Internet allows unprecedented access to information and opportunities for buying, but the great thing about International Womenís Day is it gives us a time to sit back and really think about where we are and where weíve come from.
Trusted health information for you by the National Institute of Health.Patient.co.uk
Comprehensive health information provided directly to you by doctors and nurses in the UKNHS Choices
The official website for the National Health Service, providing information about various conditions and treatment centres.