Since the early 1900’s, March 8th has been a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
In certain countries, flowers and gifts are given by the men, whilst in others, the men dress up as women to show support! Here are some of the different ways the world celebrates International Women’s Day:
In China, university and college students created ‘International Girl’s Day’ on March 7th, to celebrate girls on the day before International Women’s Day. Female employees can enjoy a half-day, spa treatments and shopping trips. Men treat women to cards, gifts and flowers. In Eastern Asia, last year men celebrated the event by wearing dresses and high heels to hike up a mountain in the Guangdong Province.
In Russia, International Women’s Day acts as a Valentines’ day, whereby men come up with extravagant ideas and gifts for the women in their lives. In Italy, women are entitled to free entry to all museums and cultural sites, whilst this year in Spain, women are planning to strike in protest against gender inequality in the workplace.
‘A day without a woman’ general strike is to take place this year across America. The strike has been organised by the activists behind the Women’s March in Washington against Trump. The USA were delayed in getting behind International Women’s Day, with the first bill of recognition only passing in 1994. This year, some school districts are closing for the day, whilst companies such as Tinder have agreed to donate money towards a cause of the public’s choice.
Women will wear red in honour of the day, and demonstrations have been planned outside parliament and the National Gallery. The Care International march for women took place on the 5th March, led by Mayor Sadiq Khan and Annie Lennox.
London is kicking of International Women’s Day at 8am, where people will be gathering at the Trafalgar Circle for the #BeBoldForChange campaign. The Southbank Centre begins it’s Women of the World event, which runs all week.
In Turkey, women marched at the weekend for gender equality, whilst in the Gaza strip, the holiday has been completely banned.
Pedestrian traffic lights showing female figures were installed in Melbourne to reduce “unconscious bias” and promote gender equality. The lights will last for a 12-month trial.