May-June 2021 Articles

International Women's Day Around the World

Nations around the world celebrated International Women's Day (IWD) on March 8, 2021. This venerated day was commissioned more than a century ago in New York City, circa 1909. Indeed, a lot of history unfolded universally for women throughout the prior decades. There are approximately 195 countries and territories in the world today, but only about 17 initially participated. Then in 1911, appreciation for IWD was beginning to proliferate. European representation had propagated to an all-new level with countries like Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, and Austria and with Russia, in 1913, joining the ranks.

Women worked with deliberate resolve to gain the coveted right to vote. This action was a catalyst in bringing them to new heights of unprecedented independence. Previously, their roles within the community were quite limited. Those who didn't fit the traditional matriarch type of mold were bound to a future with much less opportunity. Women wanted to contribute to those parts of society that weren't available to them antecedently.

As the years progressed into the 60s, 70s, and 80s, times and cultures were changing. However, it didn't mean the struggle was over; there was yet a wide range of equality goals to be attained on a far grander scale. Thus, the UN commenced its formal observance of this distinguished day in 1975. Subsequently, in 1977, the United Nations General Assembly authenticated March 8 as the official commemoration date we've come to recognize as the anniversary of female awareness and achievement.

Following protocol and formally acknowledging IWD, the highly esteemed president of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, addressed European lawmakers during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. As noted by the UNIC Library and Information Center, "The EC is an extremely important and powerful body that has the right to impose its decisions on member states of the European Union (EU). It has the power to draw up treaties, laws, and policies." Chartered seventy-one years ago, this organization's highly effective initiative and influence grew exponentially. As its esteemed leader, von der Leyen delivered a very reverential speech to the members memorializing March 8. She ceremoniously recognized the continued advancement of women's welfare worldwide, championing the evolutionary progress made to present times and affirming the original mission's intended purpose.

The movement has expanded to all four corners of the earth. In Africa, fashion curator Nunu, age 32, is a Ugandan entrepreneur and embodies the ubiquitous crusade. She established her studio in Kampala, which provides a much-needed platform for local creative artists; the idea is to incorporate the traditional with the modern using conventional items. Transforming the familiar into exquisite art. Cultures are ecumenically integrating craftsmanship or "craftswomanship."

Nepalese women sparred during their customary battles. Boxing has historically been a male sport; however, this prizefighting glove game finds its counterparts in the ring these days! Throwing punches right and left while enthralling the audience; blazingly executed, their techniques, tenacity, and command of the sport were for the spectators' enjoyment. These damsels didn't appear to be in any distress!

Pervasively, breaking the proverbial glass ceiling surges forward. Adjacent to the New York Stock Exchange in NYC, the art institute called Global Street Global Advisors installed a monument of a girl standing amongst broken glass with courage and determination. They dedicated the name Fearless Girl Statue to the figurine to illustrate strength, bravery, and fortitude.

In Australia, the Warrnambool Racing Club hosted an event in honor of the special day. The jockeys regaled after running the Dwyer Legal Class 1 Handicap. Navigating the racecourse positioned high up on an approximately 1,200-pound animal likely requires a capacity of high performance and unparalleled proficiency. The dexterity and delicate finessing needed to successfully communicate to the beloved four-legged creatures' fragile sensitivities certainly demand immense intelligence and tactical understanding.

The military also comprehensively invites women to the frontline. The Gendarmerie Special Public Security Command (JOAK) in Ankara, Turkey, conducted exercises during the IWD sending out a clear message, "There is nothing that a woman cannot achieve if she wants." Engaging in excessively stringent tasks is the usual assignment. Their firearms are an indispensable accouterment. The vigorous day-to-day grind of militant operations is severely grueling; however, these routine measures result in a profoundly methodical and highly qualified soldier.

Coordinately, female firefighters endure the rigorous training of their fellow men. This career is demandingly intense, with the job description including a vast array of duties; it's not for the faint of heart. The harsh elements they have to work in during their daily exercises and the arduous preparation combined with the disciplined regimen they must endure are strenuously laborious, albeit mandatory. Sometimes they save people in high buildings engulfed in flames, and others have to go down into the dark depths of sewers. Toughness and durability are essential to this vocation, and some formidable women easily fit the bill. Bona fided HEROS!

It doesn't stop there as the gas station attendant's job is regularly and efficaciously filled by women. Changing oil, fixing flat tires, repairing engines are all part of an ordinary day for many. The top-notch aptitude for this trade is more common than not. Employment rebuilding vehicles of any kind is a good craft and considered a tremendous commodity.

In Hyderabad, India, the acclaimed traditional self-defense martial art, "Katte Samu," was showcased to express the mental acumen, agility, and ingenuity intrinsically required to execute this complicated and sui generis wrestling match. The abstract complexities of the duel are labyrinthine-like, necessitating considerable focus and concentration. This traditional native wrestling contest is executed with a stick, making it more intriguingly fun to watch.

The Fort Grozny Autodrome set the stage for Russia's IWD celebration. Avtoledi Kavkaza, a female driver of the Caucasus, was one of the motor-racing competition's main participants. In 2015, the race track was named the "Fortress Groznaya," meaning Fortress Terrible. The unique venue serves as a gathering place for many different occasions. As the Fort Grozny website states, "On the initiative and with the support of the Government of the Chechen Republic, built a unique facility not only for our country but for the rest of the world: on one piece of land with an area of 67 hectares (or 100 acres), there is a multi-complex that accommodates tracks for karting, circuit races, autocross, jeep trial, pair races, drift, and drag racing!"

Furthermore, in the northern nation, the St. Petersburg Budyonny Military Academy of Signal Corps marked the anniversary milestone by entertaining people literally with a tug-of-war contest. The wrangling war of the rope that both sides indomitably exhibited with mighty gallantry, grit, and valiance is indicative of the steadfast willfulness they possess as respected members of the military. This fierce stamina is a prerequisite for armed services.

In England, Lucy Graham of Everton Women and Lucy Bronze of Manchester City, the Barclay FA Women's Super League, played a match on the day before IWD. Of course, the UK remains under strict Coronavirus restrictions right now. The performance pressed on with fans viewing the game from inside to properly adhere to the pandemic rules and regulations. Throughout history, football was a recreational pastime that most men did during their leisure, accompanied by basic routines for athletic exercise. In recent days, women have rivaled that old thought process, engaging in the entertaining sport, and even excelling at it. Correspondingly, women participate in rowing these days, formerly known to be a male type of occupation or amusement. Furthermore, in China, female volunteers from Blue Sky Rescue enrobed themselves in some sci-fi-looking attire. They suited up in protective wear, putting on equipment to fumigate and disinfect different regions. Typically, men would be the ones to step up to the plate for this rigidly tough job. However, self-confident twenty-first-century women partake in these types of hazardous undertakings and embody the awe-inspiring, can-do attitude while carrying out the task! Phenomenal!

Likewise, aviation has made substantial strides to become diversified as well. Many of the flights you take just might have a female pilot at the helm of the plane. Generally, as with men, women will begin pilot instructional school in the military. According to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, "Women only comprise about 5% of this population." Until more recent times, they usually filled the bill as a stewardess, serving passengers. Nevertheless, more and more women are ascending to this mostly male-driven industry, so don't be surprised the next time you travel when you see a woman exiting the cockpit of the plane.

And, of course, female frontline health management workers quickly became contemporary warfare soldiers during the pandemic! Seeing any medical professional today often means you'll be cared for by a woman. According to the World Health Organization, "75% of the workforce is comprised of women." That is undoubtedly a significant percentage delegated to the therapeutic health and well-being of the global citizenry. Healing warriors are battling through the coronavirus, administering health care, preventive medicine, increasing wellness cognizance, handing out Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) apparatus, and distributing vaccines far and wide.

Today, women maintain employment in places where they would have never been able to 100 years ago. Research indicates a multitude of record-breaking statistics everywhere their time, talents, and expertise continue to be retained. The inherent skills, creativity, and distinctive level of competence they possess were once disregarded and undervalued, but are now often welcomed and embraced while being globally emblematized.

FREE Digital Edition
See and read Diplomatic Connections Magazine
View Archived Digital Editions