March 8th 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, which was set up by women in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland to protest against poor working conditions, low pay and male oppression.
There are many article out there highlihgting the fact that in many countries and roles across the world men still earn more than woman, but there also many positive articles pronouncing the great work that women are doing today.
This year the UN’s IWD theme is Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.
This theme underlines the importance of education in progressing as a society as a whole and equality for all people.
In Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where a Million Woman March is due to be held, women will be gaining recosiniton for the part that they played in the recent uprising and revolution, and protest against the male-dominated politics that is continuing.
Linda Heard of ArabNews.com asserts that “Arab women are poised to break their shackles like Britain’s Emmeline Pankhurst who in 1898 founded The Women’s Social and Political Union dedicated to deeds and not words.”
Here in England Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench team up for two-minute film highlighting the need for gender equality, as you can see in this interesting video.
According to an article by Stephen Evans at the BBC the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published the findings of a report to coincide with IWD with figures about the ratio of men and women doing house work and child care in different countries around the world. Evans states that despite varying contributions to what they call “unpaid” work by both genders, in every country women still do more of this type of work than men.
Here in Cisco we are holding events across Europe to encourage females mentoring each other, events giving women career advice and events highlighting the opportunities available across Europe.
In the past 100 years many advancements have been made in every society across the globe by both men and women. The roles of oth men and women is every culture is evolving. But one thing is still clear, that men and women have different strengths and weaknesses, different perspectives and different contributions to every situation. For everyone to progress, contribute and develop efficeintly we have to recognise these differences and use them, rather than estrange them.
How are you celebrating 100 years of International Women’s Day?