Every year on March 8th, International Women’s Day is celebrated. A day filled with educational resources, fantastic opportunity, celebrations and remembrance of all the ground breaking achievements, sacrifices, movements and breakthroughs that we have seen by women throughout history, past and present.
In March 2023, this year’s International Women’s Day theme, as set by UN Women, is: "DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.
This theme places a focus on what we can all do to stimulate innovation and technological change, and further education in the digital age to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
To celebrate women everywhere and their achievements (not just related to this year’s International Women’s Day theme, but in all walks of life), as a brand and as a community, we want to place focus on the history of International Women’s Day and all that this wonderful day has done for women and men everywhere in its many years.
The celebration and pride that IWD brings each year, and the education that this day facilitates throughout the year, every year, is phenomenal, and one that should be celebrated.
So, if you’re looking for more information around this day, around International Women’s Day history, or even want to know when and how International Women’s Day came to fruition, here you have it!
What is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day is a day celebrated around the world to place a focus on the achievements of women and girls everywhere. From educational achievements to social ones, and political too, no achievement goes unnoticed.
Celebrated annually on March 8th, 2023 will mark IWD’s 48th day since its conception in 1975. Honouring women’s rights, countries from every corner of the earth celebrate this day, with many even marking the important occasion as a national holiday.
A brief history of International Women’s Day
Whilst IWD officially began on March 8th 1975, the history of International Women’s Day spans far greater than this. In fact, the origins of this day can be traced back to 1908, in line with the New York City march of thousands of women who campaigned against their working conditions, subject to sexual harassment, and all-round mistreatment at work in comparison to their male counterparts.
Snowballing in its movement across the world, instances of women standing up against inequality became less and less rare, with instances also noted throughout history in countries such as Russia in 1917 which resulted in Russian women’s right to vote, inspiring the suffragettes of the United Kingdom and the United States of America in the years to come.
More recently movements of this nature can be noted in the popular media #MeToo movement, in which women around the world show support for each other in their tales of sexual harassment.
Why do we celebrate International Women’s Day?
With movements such as this one still common practice in the twenty-first century, it is clear that the work of International Women’s Day is far from over, with many more steps to take to claim true equality in the world.
Whilst each of these reasons require a in-depth discussion around their significance, and this list being far from exhaustive, the reasons for International Women’s Day’s importance include:
- The gender pay gap
- Lack of female education
- The prevalence of forced and under age marriages
- Violence against women
- The rate of poverty amongst women vs men
- The lack of women in positions of leadership
- The prevalence of sexual harassment
- A huge number of countries still don’t allow women to open their own bank account
This year’s theme
This year’s International Women’s Day theme will explore the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities. It will also spotlight the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence.
In line with this theme, and to do what we can in celebrating what women have done for the human race, here are some notable examples of women who have contributed to technological developments that make the world a better place.
#1 Reshma Saujani
Reshma Saujani is a New York Times bestselling author and the founder and CEO of the non-profit organisation Girls Who Code, aimed at increasing the number of women in the computer science field and closing the gender gap within technology.
She is the brains behind the famous TED Talk, “Teach girls bravery, not perfection” and in 2010 became the first Indian-American woman to run for Congress.
#2 Dr Fei-Fei Li
Dr Li is a Chinese-American computer scientist whose research focuses on cognitive and computational neuroscience, and machine learning to improve AI image recognition ability. She has served as vice president of Google and chief scientist of AI and machine learning at Google Cloud.
Li also founded AI4ALL along with her Ph.D. student, Olga Russakovsky in 2017. AI4ALL is a nonprofit aimed at increasing diversity in the AI sphere through education, recruitment, mentoring and training students in historically underserved communities.
#3 Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer, commonly referred to as the world's first computer programmer because of her notes that explained how the notion of a specific engine (her mentor Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine) could transition calculation into computation. Though the Analytical Engine was never created, Ada was thought to have foreseen the modern-day computer more than 100 years before it was invented.
It was Lovelace's notes on the Analytical Engine that Alan Turing used as a form of inspiration for his work on the first modern computer in the 1940s.
Resources for International Women’s Day:
Whilst the list is endless when it comes to educating yourself on International Women’s Day, equality, history and education – just to name a few areas that this powerful day touches upon, literature is a great place to start. If you’re looking to educate yourself, a friend, a class or just broaden your perspective, here are some of our favourite books around women, women in leadership, and women who changed the world to get you started:
- 53 Women Who Changed The World
- Little Leaders: Bold Women In Black History
- The Evolution Of A Girl
- Fantastically Great Women: True Stories Of Ambition, Adventure and Bravery
A quick thank you
From everyone here at Innermost, to all the womxn out there, Happy International Women’s Day to you. Thanks for all you do to make this world a better, more sustainable place for generations to come.
And finally, in celebration of all the wonderful women that make up the team here at Innermost: Happy International Women’s Day.
Keep fighting the good fight.