International womens day
International women's day
100 years ago this year, whilst the world was still mired in the trauma of the first world war, Russian women started a strike of “bread and peace” in response to the deaths of 2 million Russian soldiers. 4 days later, the Czar resigned and women were granted the vote by the provisional government. That was on 23 February according to the Julian calendar – 8 March according to the calendar used elsewhere.
40 years ago, in 1977 the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed an international day of womens rights and peace to be observed on a day of each member states’ choosing but 8 March has become the day of choice for most states and ensures that the day is a global celebration.
In 1996 – 21 years ago, the first “theme” was announced – “celebrating the past, planning for the future”.
Interest in International Womens day waned during the early part of this century. However, as we celebrate the century of the Russian bread strike, it seems needed more than ever. Political events mean we need an ever stronger sense of solidarity between people as much as between nations – and we need to be ambitious in our thinking about what solidarity can achieve.
In this little bit of London, we are as international in our community as it is possible to be. Lets make 2017 a year when we remember what women acting together can achieve; when we remind ourselves and our daughters of the struggle of our grandmothers and great grandmothers for the vote; and take the opportunity individually and collectively to #BeBoldFor Change – for us, for our families and for our whole community. And have a lot of fun doing so.