08 Mar Celebrating International Women’s Day 2013!
Today is a very special day for all women all over the world. Today is the day we honor all those women who have come before us, who fought for us, so that we could have the rights that we enjoy every day. Not only is this a day of reflection of how far we have come but it is also a call to continue the fight for future generations of women.
When I first went to research the history of International Women’s Day I was delighted to be greeted by Google with their Google doodle commemorating International Women’s Day (pictured above). I love how Google commemorates important dates in history and does it’s part to draw awareness to important causes. Kudos to you Google!
While we all take a moment to really think about what this day means let me give you a few interesting facts about International Women’s Day (IWD)..
1. This day was original named International Working Women’s Day.
2. It was first celebrated on March 18, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
3. The United States did not observe or participate in IWD until March 8th, 1977 which is when the observance date changed.
4. The United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2013 is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”
Here at the Niche Mommy Network, we are beyond proud and honored by the strong, confident and amazing women we have as members. Our mission is to support women of all races, colors and nationalities. In doing so, we are building each other up in all aspects of our lives. We couldn’t do this however, had it not been for some amazing women who came before us. Below are some of those women we honor today!
Sandra Day O’Connor ~ The First Women Supreme Court Justice. Even though she graduated from Stanford Law School, she was refused job interviews by 40 different law firms. She was not deterred however, and was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Regan in 1981. She held that position until January 2006, when she retired.
Ruth Simmons ~ First African-American president of an Ivy League university & First women president of Brown University~ She came from very humbled beginnings and suffered through poverty as a child. She used education and learning as a way to escape her circumstances and thrived. As President of Brown University she worked tirelessly to gain supporters and financial support for scholarships, to help others who otherwise would not be able to attend college. She herself was awarded a scholarship, which allowed her to attend Dillard University and later Harvard University, where she earned her master’s and doctorate.
Dr. Antonia Novello ~ First Woman & First Hispanic to serve as Surgeon General of the U.S.~ Growing up she suffered from a painful intestinal issues that could only be corrected with surgery. Unfortunately, her family could not afford the surgery. Her condition was finally corrected after several surgeries at the age of 20. It was because of this that she decided to become a doctor so she could help other sick children. Despite her medical condition, she worked hard to excel in school and was awarded a scholarship that allowed her to go to college. She was appointed to the position of Surgeon General of the United States in 1990 by President George Bush.
Halle Berry ~ First African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Actress ~ She won this honor in 2001, in accepting speech she said, “This moment is so much bigger than me. This is for every nameless, faceless woman of colour who now has a chance tonight because this door has been opened.”
Lilly Ledbetter ~ Activist against gender-based pay discrimination which let to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009.~ After working for Goodyear for almost 20 years and being a top performer during her tenure, she was made aware that she made far less than her male peers. She filed suit against the company in 1998, however even though she won she never received compensation due to legal loop holes. She continued to fight for equal pay for women and eventual had a bill named in her honor. The bill was signed by President Barack Obama in 2009, which granted the right to file for wage discrimination to women from the date of their last paycheck.
These are just a few of the amazing women who have fought hard to give all women the rights and freedoms we have today. However, there are still many women around the world and some in our own country that remain oppressed and lack rights. It is now our turn to take up the flag of our fore mothers and continue to fight for the day that ALL WOMEN all over the world have the same rights and freedoms of men. I implore you to continue to be or start to be an activist, educator, mentor or role model to women and girls in your community. Together we can change the future!
Do/Did you have a women in your life that you would like to honor today? Please share in the comments below, we would love to hear your stories!