Celebrating Women – International Women’s Day Celebrate 100 Years

 In Feminism, Journal, Social Change

Celebrating Women Illustration by Jennifer Costello (C) www.jenillustration.com

It is a beautiful sunny day here in London, perfect weather to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. This celebration is actually a national holiday in many countries around the world including Afghanistan, France, Mexico, Zambia, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Belarus and India. In most countries around the world, everyone celebrate women and their contribution to society and the world. It is a day like Mothers Day, where people honour the women in their lives giving gifts and special attention to their mothers, grandmothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters, sisters, friends, and colleagues. Sadly it os not observed as a national holiday most notably in the UK and in the USA.

What women have won in the equality battle over the last 100 years all over the world is incredible, but we are not there yet. In 2011, these facts are true;

Women make up 19% of the world’s parliamentary seats, are 9 % of world’s leaders, earn 10% of the world’s income, yet own less than of world’s property.

Even though Women do 66% of the world’s work and produce over 50% of the world’s food, they still they earn only 10% of world’s income.

You can join in with International Women’s Day by:

* celebrating the women in your life (with love, praise, affection, poetry, gifts and maybe even pancakes!)

* attend one of the hundreds of woMEn on the Bridge Walks

* get involved with the We Are  Equals Campaign

* if in London attend the WOW (Women of the World) festival on the Southbank or Bird’s Eye Film Festival

* Read the Guardian’s 100 Inspiring Women List

* Watch TEDs 35 Women Reshaping the World talks

“Because man and woman are the complement of one another, we need woman’s thought in national affairs to make a safe and stable government.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.” Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, leader of Burma’s democracy movement

Here are some of my photos from the Southbank Women on the Bridge Walk followed by some great speeches:

As the protest starts to climb onto the Bridge

As we come to the festival terrace - you can see there are women across the whole of the bridge

Annie Lennox

Bianca Jagger

Judith Wanga

We were told how 100 brave women stood on a bridge in Kabal yesterday, they could only stand for 15 mins, whilst two bombs went off. Their message to all of us standing in solidarity with them ‘ Thank you for giving us hope, where there has not been hope before.’

‘Those amazing women from 100 years ago, gave us a gift, they gave us a voice’ Cherie Lunghi

‘Here’s to equality, here’s to justice and here’s to the next hundred years!’ @judewanga Broadcaster and Campaigner

‘I’m excited to see that we’re putting to bed the myth that Feminism is a Western construct’ Natasha Walters

‘Let’s embark on a non violent revolution & demand that are rights are respected’ @biancajagger

‘The struggle for equality is far from over….How can we make a difference? Through this instant communication world of ours’ Dr Helen Pankhurst

‘We’re showing strength & solidarity across the world – not just in UK’ @lfeatherstone

‘Why is feminism an F word?’ ‘We’re strong if we’re united’ @annielennox

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