With worldwide movements in support of the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns against sexual harassment and abuse, on-going debates about ways to reduce the gender pay gap in #PressforProgress, and the centenary of women’s parliamentary franchise in the UK, what better year to celebrate International Women’s Day.
The United Nation’s established 8 March as International Women’s Day in 1975, but the origins of marking the date go back much further. The origins of IWD can be found in early twentieth-century labour movements and were marked by events in New York and Copenhagen before the day became firmly established in the Soviet calendar after 1917, where it was eventually recognised as a public holiday.
In 2018, the United Nations theme for IWD is ‘Time is Now’, focusing on transforming women’s lives in both urban and rural environments. We can also take the opportunity to remember the achievements of those activists who have worked to advance women’s rights around the world.
At the University of Gloucestershire FCH Campus, come to see our exhibition in the Quad Walk Gallery. In addition to a selection from my private collection of Soviet International Women’s Day cards, take a look at the portrait of Malala Yousafzai by Level 6 History student Leonie Jenkins.