International Women's Day is more than just a day to feel inspired and empowered; it's a day to remind your children — girls and boys — that women matter, that women are important, and that women deserve to be recognized. In addition, knowing how to explain International Women's Day to your child — how to bring it up, how to highlight its importance, how to explain why it is still necessary — can be a bit confusing. Maybe you are worried that your kids will ask why the world doesn't celebrate women every day. Nevertheless, there is no better way to start those conversations than by explaining International Women's Day to your child. By reading to them and encouraging them to learn more about women’s struggles and accomplishments.
International Women’s Day is a holiday that honors women and promotes women’s rights. It takes place every year on March 8th. International Women’s Day dates back to 1911, when many women were fighting for the right to vote. The United Nations (UN) began sponsoring the day in 1975.
People around the world celebrate International Women’s Day. In some places, women receive flowers or other gifts. Groups in many countries arrange talks, performances, and other activities. Each year the UN helps organize events related to a specific women’s rights issue—for example, improving education or ending violence against women.
Most countries do not officially recognize International Women’s Day. However, some countries—such as Cuba, China, Eritrea, Russia, and Uganda—have made it a public holiday. South Africa celebrates its own public holiday, National Women’s Day, on August 9 every year. It honors a demonstration by about 20,000 South African women on August 9, 1956. The women were protesting a "pass law" made by the white-run apartheid government. In South Africa, pass laws were a form of an internal passport system designed to segregate the population between Blacks from Whites in South Africa, and thereby, severely limit the movements of the black African populace, manage urbanization, and allot migrant labor. Essentially slavery. A petition was created by Federation of South African Women and printed by the Indian Youth Congress. The petition reads:
We, the women of South Africa, have come here today. We African women know too well the effect this law upon our homes, our children. We, who are not African women, know how our sisters suffer. For to us, an insult to African women is an insult to all women.
* That homes will be broken up when women are arrested under pass laws.
* That women and young girls will be exposed to humiliation and degradation at the hands of pass-searching policemen.
* That women will lose their right to move freely from one place to another.
We, voters and vote less, call upon your government not to issue passes to African women. We shall not resist until we have won for our children their fundamental rights of freedom, justice and security.
— Presented to Prime Minister J.G. Strijdom, 9 August 1956.
Every woman’s fight for fair treatment is a never-ending war.
We recognize this by having IWD.
According to the official website, IWD is "a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women." Because the day does not belong to any specific group or government entity, it's the perfect way to celebrate all women from all walks of life and to unite them together to reflect on the strength and perseverance of women.
If your children are old enough to go to school, they can probably name a few important figures in history. George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Edison — all incredibly important to the world, but all men. To begin explaining International Women's Day, ask your children to name some women who have made a difference in the world. I hope that they can shout out Harriet Tubman, Malala Yousafzai, Marie Curie, but they may not. In addition, that right there is the lesson in why International Women's Day is so important.
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.
Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality. We want you to follow your dreams no matter what your gender! We want all our patrons to know we support young women to do whatever they set their minds to. We are here for all women. Change the world!
Sourced from & also sources for books and more information:
Here are our librarian’s children’s book selections for International Women’s Day 2022:
Maeve Brewer recommends the picture book Mae Among the Stars by: Roda Ahmed (Author) and Stasia Burrigton (Illustrator).
Regina Rhoda (left) recommends board book 3 2 1 awesome! : 20 fearless women who dared to be different by: Eva Chen (Author) & Derek Desierto (Illustrator).
Olivia Jones (right) recommends picture book The Proudest Blue by: Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali (Author) & Hatem Aly (Illustrator).
Here is a list of other book recommendations from the children’s section:
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