International Women’s Day isn’t just another commercial holiday. Steeped in years of history and hard work, beautiful traditions have bloomed as a result of this international holiday, like meaningful marches, sending roses to loved ones, and even taking the day off work in some countries. If you haven’t heard of this awesome holiday celebrated on March 8th, then you’ve been missing out. But there’s still time to catch up so you can celebrate International Women’s Day this year!
What is International Women’s Day? First kicked off in New York City as a fresh idea in 1909, the original motivation behind IWD was to call attention to all working women who were contributing to the economy. The idea gained support in both the U.S. and in Europe, and within just a few years, March 8th started seeing special protests, marches, and public discussions concerning women’s rights in several countries around the world. While International Women’s Day started as a simple concept, it has expanded over the decades to symbolize so much more. Recognition of working women’s contributions to society helped rally the cause for the women’s right to vote and hold public office. And as communities around the world changed with the times (at different paces), the IWD began to symbolize a greater concept of women’s rights. International Women’s Day was eventually adopted by the Feminist Movement in the sixties before the United Nations officially acknowledged the annual holiday in 1975. The worldwide popularity of International Women’s Day has successfully called attention to specific women’s issues around the world, such as discrimination, unequal pay, and fair access to education, including these topics in a global discussion of women’s rights.
Flowers – A Fun IWD Tradition. A number of unique traditions have been created to highlight International Women’s Day around the globe. In addition to having marches, parades, and public events, there are also distinct gestures that mark IWD on March 8th each year, including flowers. Sending roses is one tradition that has been widely adopted by folks around the world. And we’re not just talking about sending roses to your wife or mother—everyone can join this tradition by sending roses to the meaningful women in their lives, including sisters, friends, colleagues, neighbours, teachers, and more. Sending roses to commemorate International Women’s Day is such a popular tradition in Russia that the average flower shop can expect to make an entire month’s worth of flower sales on March 8th alone. Another type of flower, the yellow mimosa, has become the symbol of International Women’s Day in Italy. This beautiful yellow flower was chosen to symbolise IWD back in 1946 for its beauty, strength, and resilience—qualities that resonate with the values of the Feminist Movement.
Modern IWD Celebrations Today, International Women’s Day continues to hold a special place for people around the world, celebrating all things involved with womanhood and advocating for gender equality. Some countries even recognize March 8th as an official public holiday! And while not all regions acknowledge this important holiday to the same extent, the United Nations plays a huge role in advocating for women’s rights around the world—not just on March 8th, but every single day.
How Can I Join the IWD Celebrations? There are many ways to celebrate IWD. Take part in the floral tradition and send roses to the special women in your life. And if you’re keen on adopting the Italian symbolism, why not pick out some bright yellow roses that share a similar hue to the yellow mimosa flower? Remember, this symbolizes some of the most amazing qualities that the strong women in our lives demonstrate. You can also take part in celebrating IWD by checking out local events in your area on March 8th. Many cities hold special celebrations to mark this important day. Whether you decide to send roses, shop at a woman-owned business, or join in a public march, be sure to use the 2020 hashtag established by the UN for IWD. This year, the hashtag is #EachforEqual, which emphasizes the unique power that we each play in advocating for equality and gender rights. And if you decide to send roses for International Women’s Day, be sure to tag Rosaholics in your photos, too, using the hashtag #Rosaholics! Happy International Women’s Day!