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Happy International Women’s Day!

iwd_squareMarch 8th is a day to recognize and highlight the social, economic and political achievements of women around the world. First celebrated in the eary 1900’s, International Women’s Day is a movement that celebrates every woman and every girl, no matter where they live, according to Melinda Gates.

In the early 1900’s women in the United States fought for better pay, shorter work hours and the right to vote. In 1917, thousands of Russian women began a strike for peace and the vote; days later Russian women were granted the right to vote. In 1920 women in the United States were granted the right to vote. In the years since the women’s suffrage movement of the 1900’s there has been much achieved in the quest for gender equality. While we have come a long way in the quest for gender equality, gaps still remain. According to the United Nations:

  • Up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16.
  • Globally, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.
  • Up to 70% of women in the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
  • Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18.

These startling and unacceptable facts push us to put an end to violence against women worldwide. What can you do? You can take a moment to learn about UN Secretary-Generals Ban Ki-moon’s UNite campaign to end violence. You can help break the cycle by starting a chain reaction. According to Kiva:

  • Women reinvest 80% of their income in the health and well-being of their children.
  • A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more like to live past age 5.
  • For girls, every additional year of school increases her future earning potential by 20%.
  • Daughters of economically empowered mothers are more likely to follow in their footsteps.

So celebrate International Women’s Day by taking action and getting involved.


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