Every year on March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day It’s an annual reminder to honor women across the globe but also that we still need to continue standing together to fight for our causes and bring back harmony into our world. Every year there is a different theme for International Women’s Day.
The 2022 campaign theme is #BreakTheBias, which is about breaking all barriers and bringing back stronger unity in a gender equal world.
“Imagine a gender equal world.
A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
Together we can forge women's equality.
Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.”
An Inspiring Women’s History Lesson
For more than 100 years now, every March International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide, and its history is bold, radical, fearless, and brilliant. Here is a brief timeline of some of the important milestone dates in the evolution of International Women’s Day.
- February 28, 1909 - Originally, the idea of International Women’s Day was inspired by America’s National Women’s Day. It was declared by the Socialist Party of America. Historically, it was proposed by Theresa Malkiel and based on the urban legend commemorating a protest by women garment workers in New York City, on March 8, 1857.
- March 19, 1911 - This influence continued to grow into Europe when it was officially marked and celebrated for the first time by one million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. The day gave women’s voices an opportunity to be heard for the right to vote, to fight against sex discrimination in the workplace, and to hold public office.
- 1913 - International Women’s Day continued to be recognized in Russia for the first time. It catapulted to become part of what led to the Russian Revolution in 1917. At that time, in St. Petersburg, women went on strike for “Bread and Peace” demanding the end to World War I, Czarism, and the shortage of food in Russia. It also resulted in Russian women being given the right to vote, and International Women’s Day was declared a non-working holiday.
- 1922 - Interesting enough, communist countries and organizations initially supported and celebrated International Women’s Day. The influence reached other countries where the demand for women’s rights continued to grow, gain, support, and shine light on the poor conditions under which too many women continued to live.
- 1949 - In China, March 8th was later declared an office “half-day of work” for women.
- 1967 - Women’s rights were taken up by the next generation of feminists who called for equal pay, equal economic opportunity, equal legal rights, reproductive rights, subsidized childcare, and the prevention of violence against women.
- 1975 - The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day and declared “International Women’s Year”.
- 1977 - The United Nations invited members to proclaim March 8th as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and World Peace. Afterwards, International Women’s Day continues to be celebrated worldwide on March 8th.
Inspirational Women from Our Past and Present
We should be inspired to learn more of how certain women triumph over obstacles to rightfully earn their places within this world. They broke through the mold of patriarchal systems that made women socially conditioned to live in fear and affected them in race, religion, family, culture, politics, education, medicine, science, the arts, and much more.
Every steppingstone a brave woman took in history, she influenced and shaped the advancements for women. Their stories are like blazes of glory with their sacrifice of challenging work, patience, resilience, determination, and never giving up on their dreams to make the world a better place, especially for younger women.
Here is a list of just some of the many inspiring women that pioneered their paths into greatness.
Famous Women in History
Michelle Obama, Coco Chanel, Wangari Maathai, Mother Theresa, Helen Keller, Miriam Makeba, Grace Lee Boggs, Ellen DeGeneres, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Aretha Franklin, Sonia Sotomayor, Betty White, Rosa Parks, Mary McLeod Bethune, Emmeline Pankhurst, Victoria Woodhull, US Vice President Kamala Harris, Malala Yousafzai, Anne Frank, Mae Jemison, Cher, Audrey Hepburn, Catherine: Duchess of Cambridge, Gabby Douglas, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Greta Thunberg, Alice Ball, Katherine Johnson, and the list goes on.
A Strong Woman Who Influenced Me
When I was growing up, I had several strong women that influenced my outlook in life. One was my German grandmother who I called my Oma. My Oma was raised in Germany during the Nazi period and experienced the horrors of World War II firsthand.
Her hometown, Hanau (near Frankfurt), was bombed day and night as it was a military town. When her mother died, she was abandoned by her family and put into a home for undesirables.
My Oma experienced the time when the Nazis were killing their own people that they considered undesirable by driving them into the woods and into the back of a paneled truck. Once in the woods, they fed a hose from the exhaust to the back where the girls were and gassed them to death. One day, my Oma and her girlfriend ran away from the home. She and her girlfriend were scheduled to be gassed, but God had another purpose for my Oma.
After the war, my Oma survived and ended up working for the Americans in their mess hall to feed and take care her children born out of wedlock. Unfortunately, her family still disrespected her. There were moments where her two children were separated from her. One child, my uncle was placed into foster care. The other child, my father, was taken care of by some relatives that she paid.
Later, my Oma met an American soldier, (let’s call him, my Opa). She ended up marrying him to give her children a father figure and get them naturalized as American citizens. My Opa gave his last name to my father and uncle and adopted them as his own children.
The German people were not too kind to my Oma for marrying an American. In 1957, her family moved to the United States, and the American people looked down on her for being German born and marrying an American. She had to endure hate in both countries. However, she did endure and in 1959, she became a citizen of the United States of America.
With my Oma’s story, I learned about her strength, courage, and resilience of how she survived during a horrible time in history, and how she liberated herself and her children for a better life. One of the most important lessons she taught me was how to stand strong as a woman in my beliefs and not allow anything to hold me back in life. She gave me the gift of wisdom to understand adversity.
Women’s Challenges and Opportunities Today
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, women have been experiencing more changes (at a rapid rate) where our rights and places in the world are being more challenged than ever. The process is going backwards of what we historically fought for in women’s rights to be recognized and be taken seriously.
Another observation is that some of today’s young women do not realize the true sweat, blood, and tears that the older generations did to sacrifice and work hard for what women have presently as rights and recognitions.
A Tarot Reading for International Women’s Day
I wanted to turn to the Tarot to get a one card reading for this International Women’s Day. I pulled the Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card. For this year, it shows that women will have the opportunities to embrace a nurturing, but steady energy to manifest their goals, hopes, dreams, and new beginnings, especially within their career paths. It all about how we respond to our callings. I do see more women standing up together to bring in new influences and joining the older generations to start a new women’s movement in all areas that affect us. Overall, the fight continues to bring higher awareness for different causes and while Embracing the Wonder Woman Within ourselves.
6 Inspiring Ways to Empower Women
As women, we are the backbones of society. We all come from different walks of life. With today’s world, we need to stand strong together to bring harmony and balance back. We must not be afraid nor fearful of the word EMPOWERMENT.
Empowerment is a force that is powerful in nature for connecting to the feminine divine energy within ourselves. We are more needed more than ever to heal the world and bring in a new era of peace, so humanity can survive and be more interconnected within the universe.
Here are just a few inspiring ways to encourage and empower women among ourselves…
- Education is the key for knowledge and empowerment. Within those elements, a woman or young girl deserves to be educated and to live life on her own terms. When given the opportunities for education, a woman can change the world with her hopes, goals, and dreams. It is her pathway to a brighter future.
- Women’s Healthcare is a necessary priority for women to have a say and control over their bodies. This gives us empowerment to think for ourselves. There needs to be greater respect, understanding, and balance for women to make decisions for their own healthcare. Plus, we need access to affordable services that would be in a safe, survivable environment for women all over. If men can have healthcare without questioning them, then women are deserving of the same rights without judgment or being penalized.
- Gender Inequality is a continued focus for women around the world. There is much needed awareness to decrease the prevalent gender disparity in society. It is time to raise our voices to stand up for every woman. It is a time for courage and empowerment.
- Career Skills are essential for women to have independence in their lives. Be it gardening, sewing, cooking, decorating, teaching, writing, reading, mentoring, craftsmanship, or anything, these efforts can help them start a small-scale business of their own. Sharing new ideas that get women involved brings empowerment. Look at it this way, a small skill is enough for a woman to start a career as long she has access to tools and support to help her grow within her goals.
- Validating Women's Self-Expression is important for empowerment. When a woman shares her story, let her be vulnerable and acknowledge her act of bravery. Let her know you see her and honor her truths. If you see another person putting down her personal experience, step in and stand up for her. Women shouldn’t tear down other women. We must uplift each other up, which is powerful.
- Ensuring Women’s Safety and Freedom in the World. Again, for women to have independence, we must feel protected within our societies. There are certain parts of the world where women are violated more in different ways that make it hard for them to find a safe haven and a fair justice system that would stand up for them. There needs to be better checks and balances for women’s safety and security.
Embracing women's suffering as your own is empowerment. You don’t have to suffer, but if there is inequality for women anywhere, it affects all of us. To help fight for a cause, pick a movement to support or get involved in by volunteering at a shelter, joining in on a hotline, or running for political office.
Being the Best in this World Today
Marie Curie inspires, “You must never be fearful of what you are doing when it is right.”
And more recently Oprah Winfrey said it beautifully, “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.”
These words of encouragement for women speak of female empowerment!
Women’s empowerment starts within our families, workplaces, and neighborhoods. Appreciate those superheroes who are your mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, teachers, or mentors. We all have a Wonder Woman in all of us. We must continue to encourage, inspire, and uplift ourselves by being examples of how we live each day with being bold, radical, fearless, and brilliant… Now that’s EMPOWERMENT!
Peace and Blessings,