Sunday, March 8, 2009

Celebrating the Positives

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

All around the world, and around New Zealand, women are meeting to mark this day. I'm heading off with a bunch of other women to go for a walk in the countryside and have a picnic lunch. It's a beautiful day here in Dunedin.

In some countries IWD is a national holiday. The first IWD was in 1911. At that time the event was one of protest and campaigning for the rights many take for granted today. On the first IWD in Europe, more than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.

However, since then great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.

That's what it says on the web site. But the recent need to raise our voices on pay equity issues in New Zealand shows us that women have to keep alert and keep active to make sure we don't lose the rights we have fought for in the past.

"So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make every day International Women's Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding."

No comments: