It is International Women’s Day, “a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.” According to the International Women’s Day 2013 website:
IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
In the United States, the day is usually celebrated by honoring those who are working to make a difference for women and girls around the globe. In honor of International Women’s Day, check out these four women who are doing just that!
15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was brutally shot in the head by the Taliban on her way home from school, just because she was a girl trying to get an education. Miraculously, she survived, and now she is speaking out for girls everywhere who want an education. She is fighting for the right of “every girl, every child, to be educated.” Her resilient spirit and devotion to helping girls succeed has earned her a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
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Hillary Clinton has always been an advocate for women and girls around the world, but we were able to see this passion of hers in action when she served as Secretary of State. She led the 100 Women Initiative, which worked to economically empower women. She also wanted to get girls around the world involved in sports, as well as get more women to run for political office. Though she is no longer Secretary of State, we hope her initiatives for women and girls around the world continue, and if she becomes President in 2016 (fingers crossed!), we hope to see even more.
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Beyoncé has done plenty to help girls’ self esteem and success in the United States, from her all-girl band at the 2013 Super Bowl to her girl power anthem, “Run The World (Girls).” Now, she is adding international work to her resume by heading up the Chime for Change initiative with Gucci. The program will work to share inspiring stories of women around the world. Speaking about the initiative, Beyoncé said: “I have always felt strongly about equal opportunity for women. Girls have to be taught from early on that they are strong and capable of being anything they want to be.”
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Salma Hayek has long been a champion for healthy body image. She is not ashamed of her curvy figure, and she teaches girls to be the same way. She has also worked very hard to champion her Mexican heritage. Even though Seth MacFarlane joked about her body at the Oscars a few weeks ago, we love that Hayek is proud of who she is, and we love it even more that she has joined Beyoncé in Gucci’s Chime for Change initiative, helping women and girls around the globe.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
What women do you look up to for doing great things for women and girls around the globe? Leave your ideas in the comments!
Featured Image Credit: ToastyKen