Recognize equal rights for women in March
What: The Affordable Care Act and the debate over minimum wage have highlighted discussions about how these issues disproportionately affect women. Recognize these issues and their impact on women, as well as women’s accomplishments, on March 8, International Women’s Day.
Background: International Women’s Day began in the early 1900s during the second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen. It was proposed by Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, with the goal of setting aside a day for women across the globe to press for their demands of equality. Less than a week after the event was first held, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of New York City killed more than 140 working women. This ultimately drew attention to working conditions and labor legislation in the U.S., and these issues became a focus of International Women’s Day thereafter.
Story Pitch: There are a diverse number of groups that work to advance gender equality and aid women nationally and internationally, so this is a good time to promote their work and find areas of overlap. Groups that may not specifically focus on women’s issues can take this chance to recognize achievements and contributions women have made to their fields or organizations. For example, educational institutions will want to focus on their efforts to support and encourage female students, and consider partnering with groups that work to give women around the world access to education. Similarly, women’s right to work and receive equal pay is connected to economics, so groups that focus on international development can work to raise awareness of how crucial it is to have women equally involved and protected in the workforce. Issues specific to women’s health may also be featured, as access and affordability of health care is an issue in the U.S. and around the world. Groups that focus on protecting and providing women’s right to health care in the U.S. will want to highlight their efforts and also find areas of common interest with international medical associations that work to do the same abroad.
Story Hook: One issue that International Women’s Day addresses is fuller adoption and enforcement of domestic violence laws around the world. Where are there other themes of gender disparity in the world? Keep the following in mind when making your pitch:
- What are unrecognized ways in which women contribute to a nation’s economy and society?
- In what areas of society and government are women often underrepresented?
- What often bars women’s access to education and health care?
- What methods do groups use to advance women’s issues around the world?
Tips: Be sure to provide contact information for experts who have worked to help women locally as well as internationally.
Center for American Women and Politics
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Health Coalition
The American Association of University Women
U.N. International Women’s Day
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