A POTTED HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

This year, in 2018, International Women’s Day falls on Thursday 8th March, towards the end of Fairtrade Fortnight (26 February-11 March with the title “Come On In To Fairtrade”). Let’s take a look at how this inspiring annual event started off!

The 2018 topic is #Pressforprogress and focuses on working towards gender parity for women. The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report suggests that gender parity is over 200 years away, and the need for progress is as strong as ever. International Women’s Day belongs to all groups collectively, whether women from companies, charities, educational institutions, associations, government and more, and is celebrated by worldwide events and awareness raising whether this is through a Conference, a community gathering, a coffee morning or a chat.

The first IWD was in 1911 and started by the Suffragettes. It has always been a global day to celebrate the social, cultural and political achievements of women and to promote gender parity. Over 1oo years later, it is still a powerful platform with a unifying drive for action. The colours linked with it have varied over time (this year the key colour is ultra violet) and have been linked with those of the Women’s Social and Political Union UK 1908: purple stood for justice and dignity; green for hope; white for purity  – although this is now considered a controversial concept – and yellow for a new dawn.

The values that have guided and continue to guide the movement have a lot in common with The World Fair Trade Organisation 6th Fair Trade Principle which promotes “No discrimination, gender equity and freedom of association”. They are: justice, dignity, hope, equality, collaboration, tenacity, appreciation, respect, empathy, and forgiveness. Let’s see plenty of that in evidence in events on IWD this coming 8th March 2018!

Early C20th Hammersmith WSPU banner with colours green, white and purple

Early C20th Hammersmith WSPU banner with colours green, white and purple

Posted in Fair Trade

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