March is the declared month worldwide that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society, a tradition that dates back to the early 1900s. The highlight of the month being International Women’s Day on March 8, not to mention Mothers Day UK on the 30th.
From burning bras to moving mountains, many battles have been won for women to make IWD possible. More women in the boardroom means that the new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality. On 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. From female astronauts and prime ministers, this day has become a reminder about such transformation.
This March, Prime Minister David Cameron invited notable British women to celebrate International Women’s Day at 10 Downing Street. Guests included supermodel Erin O Connor and actress Helena Bonham Carter.
In March, there will be lots of interesting events taking place across the UK to celebrate women’s stories and achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity celebrating women from all around the world ranging from business conferences and networking events, through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.
Co-ordinated by Alternative Arts a huge line-up of exhibitions will take place throughout March across East London.
The Whitechapel Gallery’s Hannah Hoch exhibition is already open and will run until Sunday March 23 (Tuesday to Sunday 11am-6pm, open till 9pm Thursdays; £9.95/£7.95 concs). The Whitechapel will also host TheReal World: Art, Gender and the Media, a seminar questioning whether the media undervalues the work of female artists. On Tuesday March 4 the CoMA London Ensemble will perform a concert of new music written by women composers (8pm; £8/£6concs).
Time=Change, an ensemble exhibition at Espacio Gallery, will showcase works of art focusing on women’s struggle for social, sexual political and cultural equality. The show will acknowledge the remarkable accomplishments which early feminists might not have dreamed of and confronts the darker realities of the battles not yet won (Tuesday March 6 – Tuesday March 18; Monday to Friday 1pm-7pm; Saturday and Sunday 11am-7pm; free).
Tradition- The tradition on March 8th is for both men and women to honour their mothers, wives, girlfriends, friends, etc with flowers.
Women’s Day Timelime
1908 -The earliest Women’s Day observances were held on many different dates: May 3, 1908, in Chicago; February 28th, 1909, in New York; and February 27, 1910, in New York.
1914- Although there were some women-led strikes, marches, and other protests in the years leading up to 1914, none of them happened on March 8. In1914, International Women’s Day was held on March 8, possibly because that day was a Sunday, and now it is always held on March 8 in all countries.
In the West, International Women’s Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.
2000 and beyond
Apart from the UK, Australia and America, IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.
2013 -The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2013 was “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women,”
2014- The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2014 is “Equality for Women is Progress for All.
Look online for a full line up of participating venues and events.
To read the article in Macs Magazine, click below: