International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialised world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others. Thus International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for over a century – and continues to grow from strength to strength.
It is important to reflect on women’s history, discuss the injustices they face today, act in reaction to them and help make lasting change. With equal educational opportunities becoming available to women in recent decades, particularly in developing countries, women have rightly seized the chance to uplift themselves. Interestingly, in many educational institutions, female enrolment exceeds that of males. More women are entering institutions of higher learning as they see this as a means of attaining economic independence. As more motivated, highly qualified, and able women enter the workforce every year, they bring with them new dynamism, new ways of thinking, and diversity to the business world. Women also have considerable spending power—be it at work or at home. Businesses employing new and creative ways of marketing their products and services to women will inevitably roll in the money.