Today, but a hundred years ago the International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time. It was during an international conference of Working Women the Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of an international women’s day (Internationalwomensday.com). International Women’s Day is today a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women.
The international women’s day is celebrated around the world and in many countries it is a national holiday. Around the world the International Women’s Day is celebrated differently. In Russia all the men are expected to buy flowers to their wives, daughters and mothers. It is a day to celebrate all women, like the mother’s day or Valentine’s Day. In Sweden we do not have a national holiday, it is not really a tradition to buy flowers to the women, like Sweden in general it is celebrated only a bit (lagom). The idea with giving flowers is interesting. From my perspective it does not really celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women, reverse it establishes an old pattern where the women are objects the men compete for. However, in many countries the 8th of March is used by many politicians, organizations and others to raise important women-related issues. Below, delegates during the Beijing +10 conference talk about their views on equality, women and rights.
So, what has actually happened during the past 100 years?
When looking at some figures, we can clearly see that a lot of things still have to change (source; DN).
- Every year, 500 000 women die due to bad or lack of maternal health
- 70 % of the 1,5 million people living in extreme poverty are women
- 10 million women of every generation die in pregnancy-related causes
Women in different parts of the world do face different challenges. While we in Sweden discuss whether the state should decide if the parental leave should be divided equally among mums and dads, mothers in other parts of the world die every day and will never have the opportunity to meet their children.
I think it is important that no matter who we are or where we live, we should strive for equality among people. As marketers we have of course a good possibility to change behaviors. A lot of research has been made on women in marketing, sex stereotypes and female portrayals. As marketers we will play a role in creating the media and advertising content. As future managers and leaders in different areas we can impact in another important way – to emphasize the same career opportunities for women and men. As citizens and individuals we can of course make a small change every day. What will you do today?