Why we should celebrate International Women’s Day

Published on the AWDF Blog, by Nana Sekyiamah, AWDF, March 8, 2012.

… in my opinion marking such occasions (as well as the other occasions in the women’s rights calendar – 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence and World Aids Day for e.g.) are significant because:

  • It is a day when women’s rights organisations can collectively organise to celebrate women’s achievements whilst assessing what remains to be done in the struggle for gender equality and social justice.   
  • Branding days as ‘International Women’s Day’ for e.g. focuses the attention of the public, and the media on issues of concern to women. Because of the occasion I have received a number of unsolicited calls from the media wanting my opinion on everything from female genital mutilation to the justification for International Women’s Day. Under normal circumstances I am the one chasing the media to highlight issues of concern to women but the lead up to this day is one of the few occasions where I find the situation reversed.
  • It is a day when feminists and our supporters can celebrate our sisterhood. Yesterday in a twitter exchange my African feminist sister @sheroxlox excitedly said she had a gift for her #Afrifem (#Afrifem is the tag that a number of African feminists have agreed to use as a tag to highlight tweets of interest to other African feminists) sisters on International Women’s Day. I in turn excitedly responded that I also had a gift for my #Afrifem sisters. It may seem a small thing to the wider world but as an African feminist I appreciate having a day where the world chooses to focus attention on the issues that I deal with on a day to day basis …

(full text).


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