International Women’s Day is a global celebration of women. Old women, young women, big women, small women, all women. Mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, aunties, friends, all women.
When did it start?
The earliest recorded day of celebrating Women was in 1909 by the Socialist Party of America. In 1917, March 8th marked the day female textile workers went on strike in Petrograd, Russia. Shortly after the Russian Revolution started, followed by the Emperor of Russia Nicholas II abdicating, and the provincial Government giving women the right to vote. This day was then delared a National Holiday in Soviet Russia. It took until 1975 for the United Nations to officially observe the day, which seems pretty shocking when you consider all the work towards equality it now does.
I find it quite remarkable that such a celebration comes from a country infamous for communism and oppressing women. I think it is a very valid celebration and every man should take the time to think about and thank the women in his life. After all there is no life without women. We were all born from one regardless of how long our mother’s stayed in our lives.
What about men?
Anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to social media today will have seen some men suggesting that as we are meant to be living in a world of equality that there should be a national day for men. In all honesty given the oppression and lack of equility still existing between men and women we are some ways off being able to justify it. Although I do not agree that women are any better than men any more than men are better than women, I do agree that it is important to celebrate what women have done, at least up until the point that inequality is ruled out.
When all is said and done it is important to recognise both sexes for what they bring to the world. We should stand side-by-side in all areas of life and no one sex should be treated better than the other. We are all responsible for this world and it’s mistakes, breakthroughs, and future development. Men have played a massive part in shaping the world for centuries and it’s not all that long ago women even had the chance to voice their opinions let alone take action and bring change.
But all the while women have been there, through thick and thin. They have nursed our children, fed their partners/husbands, kept homes, and been there through sickness and health. They are the driving force that allowed men to grow and prosper, to not worry about who was picking the kids up, who was cooking dinner, who was going to clothe and bathe the kids, and who was going to tend to the home while the man went out and worked. Humanity is a complexly woven mix of cultures and races but the one thing that always remains the same, there will always be women and men, and we need to respect each other.
A parting thought from me is one of thanks, thanks to all the women in my life, some past and lots present. You enrich my life and bring fullness to it, you inspire me as much as the men in my life, and you bring balance. I honestly can’t imagine a life without women, be that a significant other, relatives, colleagues and friends.
Although this is not about mothers specifically I can’t write this without mentioning my incredible mother. I have been fortunate enough to have a mother who has not only shown me love and respect but has brought up both me and my brother on her own. Yes, there were supportive family and friends in the background but she is the one who always came home, sat by us when we were sad, sick, scared, and daunted by what laid ahead.
She told us everything would be ok even when she didn’t believe it herself and she shared in our celebrations as we achieved the things we set out to do. She now has the pleasure of seeing us forge our own lives and make the mistakes that we are all meant to make. She is still present and caring, and for that there are no amount of words to express the gratitude and love I feel towards her. I love you Mum and wherever I am in the world and whatever I am doing that will never change.