Tuesday, March 08, 2011

International Women's Day Celebrates 100th Anniversary

This is International Women's Day, the 100th anniversary. International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national holiday.

The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that 'all the battles have been won for women' while many feminists from the 1970's know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.

However, 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.

As a woman involved in Republican politics, I think an important way to advance the presence of women in leadership positions is to work to expand the number of women in elected office. While the numbers continue to increase - too slowly for some of us - more work is needed to recruit and campaign for strong, fiscally conservative women candidates. From city councils and school boards to state and national level politics, the need is present.

Celebrate the accomplishments of women, then let's get back to work.

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