What is International Women’s Day?
Every March 8th, International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world as a day to honor the achievements of women and bring awareness to gender equality and violence against women. The holiday has its roots in the Socialist movements in the early 1900s in the United States and Europe. It was adopted by the Feminist movement in the 1960s, and by 1977, the United Nations officially recognized it as a holiday. Each year, the United Nations chooses a theme to focus on. This year, the theme is “DigitALL:Innovation and technology for gender equality,” emphasizing women in technology.
Here at Heart to Home Meals, we are celebrating by sharing the women who inspire us.
Christine: Christa McAuliffe- Science Teacher, Astronaut
Christa McAuliffe was an inspiration to me back in 1986 when she boldly aspired to travel to space. For an everyday science teacher to go into space to teach from the outer reaches of our atmosphere inspired me to take chances in life and to boldly move forward with confidence and a positive attitude.
Lizzie: Malala Yousafzai – Educational Activist
I’m very inspired by Malala Yousafzai. Her commitment to women’s education in the face of violence and terror is incredibly brave and heroic. Not only was she risking her life daily by pursuing her education in Taliban-controlled Pakistan, but she was also spreading word of the human rights violences by blogging about her experiences through the BBC. When she was shot by the Taliban and had to escape to England, she continued her activism while continuing her education. As a result of her incredible activism, she became the youngest person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at age 17 in 2014. She helps me appreciate my own educational opportunities as well as recognize that many women and girls do not have access to the same rights and privileges—and they are worth fighting for.
Laurie: Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice
I am inspired by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was a trailblazer for women's rights and gender equality. She was one of only 9 women in a class of 500 men at Harvard Law School. She suffered tremendous discrimination due to her gender while in college, law school and in her career. Ruth was a cofounder of the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). She argued 6 gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court between 1973 and 1976, winning 5 of them. She was involved in making strides for equal pay for women, such as supporting the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in 1974 (allowed women to apply for credit cards and mortgages without a male cosigner). In addition, she made sure women could serve on juries (1979) and ensured protection of pregnant women in the workplace. Two of my favorite RBG quotes are "Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn't be that women are the exception" and "Never underestimate the power of a girl with a book.”
Sheila: Dr. Marci Bowers—Gynecologist, Surgeon
I am inspired by Dr. Marci Bowers. Throughout her career, she has shown a dedication to medicine and human rights, despite opposition to her work and field. Dr. Bowers’ successes serve as a reminder that everyone deserves access to resources that will allow them to lead a healthy and happy life.
Julie: Her daughter, Maya—Nurse, Army Sergeant, Mother
The woman that inspires me is my daughter Mya. She had my granddaughter at age 17 and still graduated from high school with honors. She married and continued her education in college, and received her CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) while being a teenage mom and wife. In the years to come she had my grandson and joined the Army with her husband. At the age of 30, she has her LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) degree/Public Health degree and is working towards her RN (Registered Nurse), all while having her 3rd child. She was also promoted to Army SGT after only 4 years in the Army and runs the surgical unit at the hospital, while being a full-time mom/wife. She inspires me to keep working hard for what I want in life no matter what obstacles are put in front of me Anything is possible and not out of reach.
Lisa: Barbara Walters—Journalist
My inspiration is Barbara Walters. In 1976 Walters made headlines by signing a five-year contract with ABC that made her the first woman to co-anchor an evening network news program. Her remarkable interview skills led her to win two Emmy Awards for Best Interviewer in 1982 and 1983. She interviewed numerous key figures, including Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin, several US Presidents, and celebrities such as Michael Jackson. Her trailblazing paved the way for other women to become successful in news reporting.
For more information about International Women’s Day, view our sources here:
The Surprising History of International Women’s Day - HISTORY
IWD: History of International Women's Day (internationalwomensday.com)
Background | International Women's Day | United Nations
In focus: International Women's Day | UN Women – Headquarters