International Women’s Day is held worldwide on March 8th. It is a day that celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women, in the past and present, while looking towards a more hopeful and prosperous future for women. In China, Russia, Vietnam, and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.
Here's our round up of key events that took place March 8th, all over the world:
Salam Shop celebrated Women’s Day on March 8th by organizing "The Pampered Muslimah," a vintage themed spa oasis to pamper women. The Salam Shop offered on massages, tea time, head massages & hijab tutorials, nail bar, and henna station. The spa day also involved refreshing mocktails, fresh fruit skewers and other snacks. The Salam Shop is an inspirational place for Muslims living in North America, the store's products are fair trade and ethically produced. Check out the salamshop.ca for more information on the company.
In New York City, where International Women's Day began in 1909, about 1,000 people gathered at the United Nations for a march to Times Square. The sentiment from the march was echoed online, where thousands of women and men were urged to replace their social media avatars with a female silhouette and asked to use the hashtag #NotThere — a symbolic act to show that while much progress has been made in the fight for women's rights, "we're NOT THERE" — as of yet. The initiative is a collaboration between the Clinton Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and was supported by celebrities with large online followings, including Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton.
Google celebrated International Women’s Day with a cartoon featuring women in various high-profile careers, these included astronauts, engineers, scientists and judges.
The campaign #DearMe asked women to create a GIF that answered the question: "What advice would you give your younger self?" The following video portrays the answer to this campaign: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbqT_ubkT0Y.
Beyoncé and Lady Gaga were among 36 prominent women who signed a petition calling on the G7 and the African Union to tackle female poverty, Agence France-Press reports. Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron and Rosamund Pike also signed the letter addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who are each hosting a women's summit later this year.
All around the world:
Wikipedia improves its art and women’s coverage by having over 75 different edit-a-thons held around the world, on March 7th and 8th. The Art + Feminism Campaign is based in New York. The main event took place at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Education and Research Building at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, on Saturday, March 7th, 2015 for a day of communal updating of Wikipedia entries on subjects related to art and feminism. The 2015 Edit-a-tons were organized for March 7th and 8th throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Oceania and South America along with online. Check out the Art + Feminism Campaign for more information and other events.
Controversy rose in India over the scheduled release of "India's Daughter," an hour-long documentary that deals with the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern in Delhi in the year 2012. The documentary by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin was slated for international release on March 8th (to be aired on BBC and India’s NDTV) , but for now its release has been put on hold but Indian lawmakers.
Indian Girl Power:
The Malik sisters, Tashi and Nungshi Malik, are the first siblings and twins to conquer the Seven Summits together. They traveled and climbed the 7 tallest peaks for India’s Girls. This journey set them a Guinness World Record as being the first twin sisters to conquer Mount Everest. The Dehradun-based sisters created #Mission2for7, a sweeping plan to bring attention to the plight of the Indian girl child while scaling the seven major summits: Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Everest in Asia, Mount Elbans in Europe, Mount Aconcagua in South America, Mount Carstenz Pyramid in Papua New Guinea, Mount McKinley in North America, and their final climb in December 2014, Mount Vinson Massif in Antarctica. The girls grew up in an area that had an extreme preference for sons over daughters, and some of the highest rates of female foeticide and infanticide in the world, as well as gender violence and widespread sexism. They wanted to use the climbs to increase awareness of the status of girls in India. For them, the mountains they were about to climb symbolised the mountains that girls in India surmount every day.
The twins’ next empowering move is to motivate girls through outdoor sports. Their new organisation, NungshiTashi Foundation, is aimed at lifting the status of girls though mountaineering and outdoor activities, targeting the populations of India’s mountainous areas. See www.nungshitashi.com for news on these two adventurous girls!
India and the United States:
The scenic Swat valley is once again in the limelight due to another brave woman from the area - Tabassum Adnan, the founder of Khwendo Jirga. The United States awarded Tabassum Adnan the 2015 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award. The award was presented to 10 extraordinary women from 10 countries by US Deputy Secretary Heather Higginbottom. A victim of child marriage, Tabassum Adnan was married at the age of 13. Her marriage and ensuing domestic abuse ended 20 years later when she gathered the courage to divorce her husband. Later she started her NGO, Khwendo Jirga, or Sister’s Council, a women-only Jirga where women meet weekly to discuss issues such as honour killings, acid attacks and swara, or the giving of women as compensation for crimes. The Jirga launched awareness campaigns related to women's security, their right to vote and also offers free legal help to victims of violence.
The award was launched in 2007, and since then 86 women from more than 50 different countries have been honoured. The other 2015 award winners are: Captain Nilofar Rahmani, Afghan Air Force (Afghanistan); Nadia Sharmeen, journalist, women’s rights activist (Bangladesh); Rosa Julieta Montaño Salvatierra, Founder and Director, Oficina Jurídica para la Mujer (Bolivia); May Sabe Phyu, Director, Gender Equality Network (Burma); Béatrice Epaye, President, Fondation Voix du Coeur (Central African Republic); Marie Claire Tchecola, nurse, Ebola survivor and activist (Guinea); Sayaka Osakabe, Founder and Representative, Matahara Net (Japan); Arbana Xharra, Editor-in-Chief, Zeri (Kosovo); and Majd Chourbaji, External Relations Director, Women Now for Development Centers (Syria).