The International Women’s Day began at the turn of the first decade of the 18th Century as a feminist movement. This movement’s ideology was and is still to redress the oppression, injustice and inequality that women faced and are still facing in a patriarchal society. Through bold well-documented action and surreptitious resistance, women has united for equality, achievement and global recognition.
The First officially named “Internationally Women’s Day” event was held in 1911 and has since then, assumed a new dimension for women in developed and developing countries. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regards to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political orientations.
The Charter of the United Nations signed in 1945 was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has helped to create a historic legacy of internationally-agreed strategies, standards, Programmemes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.
Since the commemoration of the International Women’s Day, many women leaders have continued to inspire other women to celebrate this achievement and to empower more women in the university community, business as well as the society. Some women such as Gloria Steinem, Malala Yousafzai, Margaret Thatcher, Mary Kom and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala have contributed significantly to the advancement of the status of women in a patriarchal society. It is noteworthy to briefly discuss the achievements of these historic women.
She is an outspoken champion of women’s right since the late 1960s. She is a social activist, writer, editor, and lecturer. She has travelled to various countries organizing talks and lectures on issues of gender equality between men and women. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence. She has also given talks on non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, peace and justice.
As a young girl who was defiled by the Taliban in Pakistan, she demanded that girls should be allowed to receive an education. She is an inspiration not only for girls but for everyone who has human values and knows the importance of education. She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012 but survived. She received the Nobel Peace Prize. “One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen, can change the world” was her favorite quote.
She was the first female prime minister of Britain and the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century. She was a controversial figurehead of conservative ideology during her time in office. “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman”, was her favourite quote.
As a sportswoman who has made India proud with her glorious achievements, Mary Kom is the only Indian woman boxer who managed to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics where she also won a Bronze Medal. She is best known for being a five-time World Amateur Boxing Champion, a feat that definitely makes her one of the best ever women boxers the world has ever produced.
She is a renowned Nigerian economist and two-term Finance Minister who has continued to inspire women not only in Nigeria but across the globe. For a period, she was daily on national news for her achievements. She was one of the managing directors of World Bank and also held the position of Foreign Minister of Nigeria in 2006.
Giving the importance of celebrating the International Women’s Day, The world could be a very different place if more women were empowered and especially girls, to learn, lead, decide and thrive. Developing the leadership capacity of girls in particular will not only help them to secure better livelihoods and better health today but it will also create a generation capable of delivering future change. Women’s political participation is a crucial accelerator of progress. And we need to accelerate change if we are to safeguard development through better decision making.
Happy International Women’s Day from Skyline University Nigeria!