Is there one woman who really inspires you?
It might be Jasmin Paris, the first woman to win the gruelling 268-mile Montane Spine Race. Or perhaps the journalist and entrepreneur Arianna Huffington. Or maybe it’s your mum; if so, then now’s the time to tell her!
Because it’s International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8th March and there’s no better time to rejoice in women’s achievements.
IWD is widely recognised across the globe but unlike other ‘days’ (such as ‘White Chocolate Cheesecake Day’ – 6th March), IWD is over a century old, having been first marked in 1911.
What is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women, as well as campaigning for gender equality. In 1910 an International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen and this sowed the seed for IWD the following year.
By 1975 the day was being marked by the UN, and in 1996 the UN begun the trend for theming each annual event. This year’s theme is #BalanceForBetter. The campaign runs all year, it doesn’t just begin and end on Friday. There are, therefore plenty of opportunities to get involved and to reflect on what a more balanced world would look like for women, men and children.
If you are stuck for inspiration we have pulled together some women’s day quotes that are sure to create a stir. These are quotes by women, for women (well, everyone actually, there’s no gender discrimination here). IWD is an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements past and present, so these women’s day quotes act as a little reminder of the women we shouldn’t forget.
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”
Alice Walker, American novelist and author of ‘The Color Purple’, poet, civil rights and women’s activist. Also went to college with Martin Luther King!
“You cannot buy the revolution, you cannot make the revolution, you can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere”
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin, American novelist. Her writings often depicted alternative worlds of the environment, gender and sexuality. Died last year aged 88.
“I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves”
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 –1797), English writer, philosopher and women’s rights advocate. Regarded as the first feminist philosopher.
“We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves.”
Marie Curie, pioneering scientist and first woman to win the Nobel Prize (not that she needs an introduction).
“We never know how high we are till we are called to rise; and then, if true to plan, our statues touch the skies”
Emily Dickinson, American poet. Few of the 1,800 poems she wrote in her lifetime were published before her death in 1886 because they were considered ‘unconventional’. Now a key name in American literature. Clearly ahead of her time, go figure!
“I raise up my voice – not so I can shout, but so those without a voice can be heard… we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” The ultimate Queen Bee: Oprah Winfrey, American talk-show host, media producer and philanthropist.
“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.”
Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1942), English writer. Her work is considered to be an inspiration for the 1970s feminist movement.