At the MME Council, we recognise the contribution of all women and support all those celebrating good relations and the quest for gender equality.
The background to the Day is international and is shared across the world in its bid to support gender parity:
In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City (USA) demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote; following on from which the Socialist Party of America declared the first National Woman's Day in 1909.
In 1910, Clara Zetkin suggested that there be the first International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen (Denmark). There were 100 women there, from 17 countries.
In 1911, it was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
In 1975, the United Nations started celebrating the day as an International Women’s Day (IWD).
2011 marked the centenary of IWD.
In 2021, we are now celebrating the 110th International Women's Day!
This year’s campaign theme is: #ChooseToChallenge
According to the IWD website there are three areas, that support this theme:
We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.
We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements.
Collectively we can all help create an inclusive world.
At the MME Council, we endeavour today and throughout the year to support these three areas. Ways we can do this is by:
- Participating in local consultations, and influencing decision and policy-making.
- Celebrating in everyone’s achievements. The list of the remarkable work of the voluntary and community sector, statutory and business sectors that are celebrating today, is endless! We have seen great examples from minority ethnic support groups and organisations, such as North-West Migrants Forum’s #ChoosetoChallenge events that ran the past month; and the Members’ Appreciation day of Belfast Asian Women’s Association, recognising contributions of members on the frontline to a ‘Women Who Lead Conference,’ by NI Overseas Professional Forum, to name a few.
- Taking part in MME’s Research, Policy and Advocacy Consortium (RPA), where we look at current policies such as the Programme for Government and encourage individuals, groups and organisations to respond and to take wider views to make a difference in policy-making processes.
We wish everyone happy International Women’s day. In the words of the UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, we assert that,
We need women's representation that reflects all women and girls in all their diversity and abilities, and across all cultural, social, economic and political situations. This is the only way we will get real societal change that incorporates women in decision-making as equals and benefits us all."
From the international women of MME Council Board
Happy international women's day