Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today, March 8th, people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day. This historical day is meant to celebrate women everywhere and push our societies closer to equality and equity for all.

Throughout its history, International Women’s Day (IWD) has primarily been a day of protest. Its beginnings are steeped in the movement for women’s suffrage across Europe, with the first IWD being marked in 1911. Over a million people celebrated throughout Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In 1913, Russian women began celebrating International Women’s Day, and in 1914 Germany held IWD on March 8 – which is now the official International Women’s Day.

IWD was primarily celebrated in communist countries and the communist movement until the United Nations declared 1975 International Women’s Year. In 1977, the UN General Assembly invited all member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.

For the last couple of decades, each IWD has had a different theme, ranging from violence against women to women in the workplace, and investing in women and girls. This year’s theme is “Balance for Better” – a focus on building a gender-balanced world. This focus brings the understanding that gender balance in all aspects of our societies is essential for our collective future, for the health of our economies and, most importantly, for our communities to thrive.

Here at Mediation Services, our work is focused on the idea that everyone deserves a seat at the table and everyone needs to be heard, in situations of conflict and in every aspect of our communities. And that the people who are marginalized, be it by gender identity, race, religion, sexuality, ability or anything else, especially need to be heard. Balance in our society, from the largest structures of government and business to every small community and home, is vital to dealing with conflict in healthy ways, and making our world a safer and more peaceful place.