March 8 marks International Women’s Day Inspires Women to “Make It Happen”

Speak up for women’s rights or equality, and you’ll get different reactions depending on who’s listening. It’s par for the course for an activist, isn’t it? We need inspiration, resources, and kindred spirits to sustain and encourage us. International Women’s Day (IWD) March 8 reminds us there’s a global sisterhood and its supporters: to honor women, celebrate women’s achievements, and continue to press for justice and equality.

Women Made the Movement Happen

In 1908 in New York City, 15,000 women marched to demand shorter work hours, better pay and the right to vote.

In 1908 in Great Britain, the Women’s Social and Political Union adopted a purple-white-green color scheme to show solidarity with Suffragettes.

In 1910 in Copenhagen, 100 women from 17 countries formed the first International Women’s Day.

In 1915 in Bern, Switzerland, the movement took on the cause of peace. At a demonstration to urge the end of World War I, women on both sides of the conflict took part.

The United Nations has observed IWD on March 8 since 1975. Issues have included rape as a weapon of war, sexual assault, domestic violence, and physical sexual violence.

Women in Action Today

  • Visit the International Women’s Day website, a global hub for news, events, and resources. Learn from selected videos. See their “Make It Happen” theme page for action ideas — including “Paint it purple.”
  • Explore LPF’s Women’s Resources, a five-part treasure trove to affirm women and girls’ empowerment.Who in your church would be most interested? How can you support women’s efforts to “make it happen”?
  • Share this blogpost with others. Join in to inspire change, stop violence and nurture peace with women! 

— Lily R. Wu

(Illustration from IWD 2011 on their 100th anniversary.)