In occasion of International Women’s Day (IWD) as recognized by millions of people in the struggle for equity and justice worldwide, and by the United Nations, here is a “Did You Know” segment going over the beginnings of IWD and of current issues in women’s rights today:

 

Did You Know:

IWD was first observed on March 19th, 1911. The current date of March 8th, was changed in 1913.

 

Did You Know:

IWD was the brain child of Clara Zetkin of Germany, who was the head of women’s office of the Social Democratic Party.

 

Did You Know:

 

In Russia, March 8th is a non- working holiday in commemoration of International Women’s Day, since 1965. This date was first set during the Soviet era under Vladimir Lenin’s rule to recognize the many struggles and sacrifices that women had made to protect and defend the Soviet state, while the men were away at World War I.

 

IWD is also marked as a holiday in other countries in Asia, Africa and South America. Men give gifts to the women in their lives, as part of IWD. However, many countries under former Soviet rule have stopped marking IWD as a holiday, because they want to shake off their Communist Russian-rule pasts.

 

Did You Know:

IWD rose up amidst an environment of growing feminism awareness and politics of the early 20th century. Women rights activists of the early 20th century were fighting for the right to work in safe conditions and with higher pay and the right to participate politically. Moreover, the IWD was fueled by widespread labor rights activism and dissatisfaction regarding the dangerous and dismal conditions of the huge industrial factories that powered the early 20th century Western economies.

 

Did You Know:

United States of America did not recognize International Women’s Day until 1975! That’s because the Socialist Party of America had organized a National Women’s Day in 1913, but as socialism became demonized by political and media establishments, this day sadly fell out of favour.

 

Did You Know:

UN recognized March 8th as International Women’s Day in 1975, when UN also marked that year as International Women’s Year.

 

Did You Know?

There is an international bill of rights for women called the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women, adopted by the United Nations in 1979. This bill codifies the various legal standards for women’s rights around the world in the social, cultural, economic, political and civil realms. So far, 185 states have ratified this Convetion.

You can look over that Convention here: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/

 

Did You Know?

United States has yet to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women!

 

 

Did You Know:

Canada is fast becoming a country where there is a “feminization of poverty”. Women earn 62 cents for every dollar that a man earns, doing the same work. Women are also over-represented in part-time or temporary employment, with almost a quarter of women in the labor force working in part-time work.

 

Did You Know?

That murder of women from firearms in domestic violence situations are more common in rural communities in Canada, than in urban centers. Ironically, it is also constituents from rural Canada who are in favour of the Conservative Party’s move to legislate the abolition of the National Gun Registry. Women’s rights activists from coast to coast have argued that having the registry is an important tool to bring legal justice for those women directly affected by domestic violence.

 

Did You Know?

There is a Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee.

 

Did You Know?

 

Between 2002-2007 (latest year of data collection) there have been 212 murders of women by their partners or family members, done in Ontario alone, according to the Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee.

 

Did You Know?

The struggle for women’s rights can never be over by the women of today, even though significant social, political, economic and cultural achievements have been made. We cannot rest on our laurels thinking that there is an international recognition of women’s rights and historic struggles; there are legislation guaranteeing rights to women; women are in the higher education workplace spheres in ever increasing numbers; that women have more reproductive control over their bodies than before.

 

About the Author:

Ilham Alam- Front Office Placement Student from Seneca College

Ilham is an avid supporter of women rights and social justice issues and one of her life’s goal is to work towards reducing and eliminating economic poverty and women’s rights. One of the ways that Ilham does this is by spending her time blogging about social justice issues and posting articles on Facebook relating to these, to educate her facebook friends, in between rounds of growing her own mega farm on the Farmville game and posting pictures of her various travels and shenanigans.

Ilham has also worked in a variety of social service organizations in various capacities. In recent years, she has worked at YMCA; as a crisis line counselor at the Toronto Rape Crisis Center; as a Board Member at Warden Woods Community Center; as part of the Steering Committee in South Asian Youth Advisory Committee (SAYAC) and South Asian Women Action Collective (SAWAC); and worked at City of Toronto Employment and Social Services and also at a City Councilor’s office.

Ilham’s interests are dancing, swimming, hiking, hot yoga, travelling, loving and spoiling her 20lb cat, canoeing and kayaking, day-dreaming, reading, writing creative non fiction, blogging, baking, cooking (only sometimes), talking and most of all laughing and all things comedic!

Contact us if you would like to connect with our featured blogger! *protected email* or call 416 264 0823 x 233.

 

 

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