International Women’s Dah was recently, so we thought a dedicated blog is a must! Women come in all shapes and forms. So does strength. International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on 8 March around the world. It is a focual point in the movement for women's rights.
After the Socialist Party of America organized a Women's Day in New York City on 28 February 1909, German delegates Clara Zetkin, Käte Duncker, Paula Thiede and others proposed at the 1910 International Socialist Woman's Conference that "a special Women's Day" be organised annually. After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted by the feminist movement in about 1967. The United Nations began celebrating the day in 1977.
Commemoration of International Women's Day today ranges from being a public holiday in some countries to being largely ignored elsewhere.In some places, it is a day of protest; in others, it is a day that celebrates womanhood.
Join us in celebrating all women. I have highlighted women that have been influential to me, for many different reasons. Read their stories.
Artist Frida Kahlo was considered one of Mexico's greatest artists who began painting mostly self-portraits after she was severely injured in a bus accident. Kahlo later became politically active and married fellow communist artist Diego Rivera in 1929. She exhibited her paintings in Paris and Mexico before her death in 1954.
Frida was nearly killed in the crash when an iron handrail went into her hip and came out the other side. On top of this, she also broke her spinal column, collarbone, ribs, pelvis, right leg in 11 places, and dislocated her shoulder.
Frida’s work has been widely praised for being deeply personal and for showing an insight into the female experience. She has also been praised for capturing her natural unibrow and other facial hair which speaks to many about gender roles and body-positivity.
Her openness with her sexuality—she was bisexual—and her gender-neutral dress at times has made her an iconic figure in the LGBTQI community. Her fierce pride in her Mexican roots have also made her a source of pride for many in her culture.
Frida Khalo Self Portrait
Marguerite Annie Johnson/ Dr.Maya Angelou
An American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.
Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I know why the caged brids sing (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.
When she was just a child, Angelou was sexually assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend. She told her brother about the incident, and was later called to testify against the man in court, which led to his conviction. Ultimately, he served just one day in jail. Four days after his release, he was murdered—presumably by one of Angelou's family members—and Angelou blamed herself for his death.
“I thought, my voice killed him,” she later wrote of her attacker. “I killed that man, because I told his name. And then I thought I would never speak again, because my voice would kill anyone." For the next five years, Angelou refused to speak. Literature helped her find her voice again.
Angelou died on the morning of May 28, 2014 at the age 86. She was found by her nurse. Although Angelou had reportedly been in poor health and had canceled recent scheduled appearances, she was working on another book, an autobiography about her experiences with national and world leaders.
Anne Frank was a German-born Jew who became one of the most well-known victims of the Holocaust after a journal she kept while in hiding became a huge success after being posthumously published as The Diary of a Young Girl. The diary gives a raw and real look into the life of Jews in Nazi Germany, but what is most shocking is her strength of character and unbelievable maturity for a young girl at the time of writing (just 13 when she started, and 15 at the end of her short life.) A consistent theme throughout her entries is the importance for woman to have a voice.
Unanimously hailed as the greatest female Tennis player, and IMO athlete, of all time, Serena Williams has become a strong representative for women both on and off the field. She and her sister Venus have dominated international tennis for over 15 years, despite having to deal with a series of media controversies, serious injuries, racism and sexism. She has built a brand and a legacy, and she truly embodies what it means to be a strong and empowered woman.
“I’ve grown most not from victories, but setbacks. If winning is God’s reward, then losing is how he teaches us.”