Celebrating International Women’s Day

Katherine Weltzien, Staff Writer

Since it was first observed, the celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8th, has changed immensely, especially through technology and social media. Women from Michelle Obama to Taylor Swift took to Twitter and Instagram on March 8th, marking their messages with #IWD2016, to share their own thoughts on gender equality and female empowerment. Obama tweeted, “#OneDayIWill see a world where every child can go to school and fulfill their boundless potential. #IWD2016,” alongside a picture of herself in the midst of a classroom full of girls.

 Urban student Blake Case (‘18) said, “International women’s day is such an important holiday for not only women to support and empower each other, but to recognize that it’s a day to recognize and embrace their own womanhood. I took this day to appreciate the women in my life who inspire me everyday, and to step back and experience my own power in being a woman.”

International Women’s Day has been March 8th since 1913. However, many countries, including the United States, observed different national or international women’s days during the early 1900s. According to the International Women’s Day website, the day “is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.” The United Nations website emphasizes the role of International Women’s Day in promoting of unity among women, saying “It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.”

This year, the International Women’s Day organization’s theme was Pledge for Parity. The pledge encourages women to work to close the gender gap in the workforce in their daily lives. The pledge suggests women fulfill the pledge by challenging their own internalized biases and increasing their self-advocacy. As March is also Women’s History Month in the United States, Urban students who wish to celebrate it can continue to celebrate womanhood and promote gender equality by focusing on incorporating the pledge’s values into their own lives. Students can also volunteer or donate to San Francisco nonprofits dedicated to supporting women, such as Casa de las Madres and the Women’s Community Clinic.