Happy International Women’s Day!
We LOVE International Women’s Day, it stands for something we’re so passionate about – empowering women and seeking positive change.
…Although here at Lorna Jane, it’s like every day is our very own ‘Women’s Day’!
I think that we can all agree that there has been a big shift when it comes to women’s causes and equality over the past 12 months. It’s been a year where women have stood together, united in their fight to create change in numbers we haven’t seen in many, many years.
It gives me goosebumps thinking of the incredible shows of support, unity and sisterhood we’ve witnessed, and I can’t help but get excited about what progress we’ll see and be celebrating this time next year!
So, how did International Women’s Day begin?
In 1910, the leader of the ‘women’s office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, Clara Zetkin raised the idea of an International Women’s Day. She suggested that it should be to celebrate women and be used to further womens rights, demands and causes. The proposal was agreed unamimously at a conference with over 100 women from 17 countries.
A year later in 1911, International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
Although it has been around since the early 1900’s, the United Nations only officially recognised International Women’s Day in 1975. Since then, a different ‘theme’ or call to action has been set each year to focus on a key area, mindset or opportunity.
This year, the theme is #PressForProgress with the International Women’s Day website stating:
“With the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away – there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress. And with global activism for women’s equality fuelled by movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and more – there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity…
Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.
International Women’s Day is not country, group or organisation specific. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. So together, let’s all be tenacious in accelerating gender parity. Collectively, let’s all Press for Progress.”
Women Changing The World
Even though we still have a way to go, every day women are making incredible progress and history with their achievements. While it’s essential that we all continue to press for progress, it’s also important that we recognise and celebrate the achievements and milestones along the way.
Here are just a few of the inspiring achievements by women since the last International Women’s Day:
- Ana Brnabić becomes the first female Serbian Prime Minister.
- Cressida Dick was named the first female police commissioner in Scotland Yard’s 188-year history.
- Female Director Patty Jenkins led the first superhero film with a vastly female cast in what many considered a ‘gamble’ in Hollywood. Wonder Woman opened to record $100.5 million weekend and has gone on to earn over $820 million worldwide.
- Astronaut Peggy Whitson came back to Earth with three records! 1: Being the first woman to command the International Space Station twice. 2: Carrying out the most space walks by a woman (60 hours). 3: Being the woman who has spent the most time off the planet (more than 600 days).
- Ana Carrasco becomes the first woman to win a world-championship motorcycle race, at just 20 years old!
- The Australian ladies cricket team secured a pay increase to a living wage (from $40,000 to $72,000), which is the largest rise in Australian womens sport to date.
- A New York Times story (written by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohe) revealed decades of sexual harassment by leading Hollywood producer and industry power player, Harvey Weinstein which had been actively covered up. This article received an overwhelming response which led to his firing and the #metoo movement, raising awareness and highlighting the magnitude of the issue and to support to those affected.
- TIME magazine ‘Person of the Year’ was named as ‘The Silence Breakers’ – the women speaking out against sexual harassment, inequality and gender injustices in their industries. – These events have sparked the #TimesUp movement.
- Pioneering physicist, Michelle Yvonne Symmons is named 2018 Australian of the Year. During her acceptance speech, Professor Simmons said she was a woman working in a predominately male world and hoped to shatter expectations of what careers women should pursue and achieve.
“I think one of the important things – and the message I hope to get out there – is to defy those expectations… Don’t live your life according to what other people think. Go out there and do what you really want to do.”
And, these are just a few!
We would love to hear who or what has inspired you this year. Let’s all take a moment to celebrate together. Celebrate the progress that has been made, what is to come, the women changing the world, the women you love and each and everyone of us… strong, determined women.
What an incredible sisterhood we are!
Who has inspired you most this year?