Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, and an opportunity to accelerate the push for gender equality across the globe.
International Women’s Day was proposed at a 1910 conference of just over one hundred women and has since expanded into a global movement full of local events and traditions. The date of IWD, March 8, has been in place since 1914, with the United Nations first celebrating the day in 1975. Although IWD fell out of the public’s eye for a while, it saw a resurgence in the late 2000s and has become an official holiday in many countries, such as Afghanistan, Armenia, Cuba, Eritrea, and Uganda. While the event initially revolved around women’s voting and working rights, IWD has evolved alongside women’s rights to focus on some of the most pressing contemporary issues, dedicating each year to a different theme.
This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, encouraging people across the globe to commit themselves to challenging inequality and questioning stereotypes. This is actually not too much of a departure from the traditional focus of the day on women at work: from fighting for fair and safe workplaces to tackling gender pay gaps, women’s labour remains an important topic, as many still face barriers, inequality, and bias when it comes to the workforce. In fact, the global COVID-19 pandemic has worsened working conditions for many women, making it more important than ever to stand up and #ChooseToChallenge inequality whenever we encounter it.
As part of celebrating women’s role at work, for the rest of March – which is also Women’s History Month! – Casper Magazine will be honouring women in design, both past and present, with dedicated features detailing their careers and contributions to the industry. As a team comprised almost entirely of women, we believe it’s important to highlight the achievements of women in a world that often overlooks them, and where better to start than one of our favourite industries?
Stay tuned for our upcoming series and keep an eye out for other International Women’s Day or Women’s History Month events and programmes!
If you liked this article, you might like our feature about South African artist Zandile Tshabalala’s portraiture, which highlights the beauty and power of Black women.