March 8 is International Women’s Day, and to celebrate we here at Kronos offer this video honoring a few of the many contributions women have made to our daily lives. I hope you’ll all watch it, enjoy it, and share it with your friends.
My first memory of the feminist movement is the Women’s Strike for Equality on August 26, 1970. This event, occurring at the beginning of the Women’s Liberation Movement, celebrated the 50th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in the United States. I was thirteen and my stay-at-home mother declared that she, my sister and I were not going to cook or clean for the day. One of the calls to action that day was “Don’t iron while the strike is hot”, meant to make that point that without women’s efforts, society (or at least dinner) would quickly fall apart. My mother, emboldened by the feminist movement, resumed a college education interrupted in 1953 and became a teacher in 1977.
We’ve come a long way from that day in 1970 when the women’s strike was portrayed by its critics as the brainchild of women too homely to catch a husband. As the statistics in our video show, women have flooded into the workforce since the 70’s and their absence from the workforce now would create significant turmoil in just about every organization you can imagine across the globe.
Yes, we’ve come a long way (baby), but still have a long way to go. According to the Women in America report published by the White House this month, in 2009 American women at all levels of education were paid 75 cents to the dollar paid to their male counterparts. And American women enjoy a higher degree of freedom and respect in the workforce than many of their sisters around the world for whom equal status with men remains a pipe dream, and yet whose contributions could improve the quality of life for men and women.
So let’s celebrate the contributions of women this week, but let’s not forget that the struggle for universal equality is far from over.