International Women's Day - What's it all about?

March 08, 2015

Supporting women is at the absolute heart of our business so its a special day, but how did it all come about? Sometimes things like this have a tendency to become slightly commercialised so we wanted to remind ourselves why this is such an important day for women all over the world.

A few background facts...

- The earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909 in New York.
- In 1910 
a woman named Clara Zetkin proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same  day - a Women's Day - to press for women’s demands.

Clara  Clara Zetlin 1910
- On IWD in 1914. Sylvia Pankhurst was arrested in front of Charing Cross station on her way to speak in Trafalgar Square in support of women's suffrage.
- IWD 1917 in Saint Petersburg instigated the February Revolution which ultimately led to the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the end of the Romanov dynasty, and the end of the Russian Empire. 
- IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.

Woman's equality has made such enormous progress but we still have a long way to go:

- Globally, about one in three women will be beaten or raped during their lifetime.

- About 44% of all UK women have experienced either physical or sexual violence since they were 15-years-old.

- A UN report found 99.3 per cent of women and girls in Egypt had been subjected to sexual harassment.

- Around 15 million girls, some as young as eight years old, will be forced into marriage in 2015.

- Women in ten countries around the world are legally bound to obey their husbands.

- In the UK, the gender pay gap stands at 17.5%

- Globally only a 24 per cent of senior management roles are now filled by women.


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