On the International Women's Day website it states that annually, on March 8, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women's craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.
It is interesting to note the following keeping the aforementioned in mind regarding the celebration of achievements by women during this international observance of women in varying fields of interest as presented in a press release by PBC’s school district:
The School District of Palm Beach County was one of 10 school districts nationwide selected to participate in the MIT Women’s Initiative Program. The Women’s Initiative is a non-profit student group from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that seeks to increase the number of females enrolled in engineering majors.
Female MIT undergraduates visited seven middle and high schools in Palm Beach County to speak with female students at each school about the importance of mathematics and science courses in preparation for engineering careers. All participants were given the opportunity to interact with two female engineering students as well as participate in a challenging engineering activity.
Lindsey Hornyak, a freshman at Boca Raton High School, said, “It was really fun and interesting to learn about the different types of engineering with my friends. I never knew there were so many kinds of engineering, and that I would consider engineering as my career.”
The following schools participated in the program: Boca Raton High School, Glades Central High School, Forest Hill High School, Lake Worth Middle School, Olympic Heights High School, Palm Beach Lakes High School, and West Boca Raton High School.
As appearing on the website, International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.
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. The tradition sees men honoring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc. with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that 'all the battles have been won for women' while many feminists from the 1970's know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.
So make a difference, think globally and act locally!! Make everyday International Women's Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.
REF: PBCSD (Press Release) Public Affairs Office. Mar. 2013.