I did not know anything about International Women’s Day before Henry and I spent a year in Beijing. It was an exciting/worrying year. The dark night we got out of our airplane on April 17, 1989 in Beijing, my work unit met us and and took us to the Friendship Hotel where we were assigned a small apartment for the year. Before we went into the building I asked Zhao Hu what was the sound we were hearing. She said that the students were in Tiananmen Square mourning the death of Hu Yaobang who was beloved by the students. The beginning of that year for us was filled with a new world, fear, concern, and the wonderful women I worked with. Our job was writing a magazine (Women of China) in English and distributed in many countries. It was in Beijing that I had my first International Women’s Day.
Since then I have learned more about International Women’s Day. “In 1908, a group of about 15,000 women representing the Socialist Party of America marched into New York City, demanding better working hours, pay and the right to vote. A year later, in 1909, the group declared the first National Women’s Day, but formal recognition internationally did not begin until 1910, when a women by the name of Clara Zetkin suggested there be a special day of recognition at the International Conference of Working Women in Denmark. In 1911, Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland celebrated what is now regarded as the first International Women’s Day.”
This year’s International Women’s Day 2022 (March 9) is titled #Break the Bias.
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
I have been looking back at amazing women and what they brought to our world.
Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was An American feminist, suffragist, suspected spy, prisoner of war and surgeon, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker remains the only women ever to receive the Medal of Honor, which she was awarded for her service during the Civil War.
Mary did not like to wear male attire. She graduated with a doctor of medicine degree from Syracuse Medical College in 1855. She married, but ultimately divorced. When the Civil War began she tried to work for the Union Army but was denied. She worked anyway. In September 1863, Dr. Walker became the first female U.S. Army surgeon following her commission as a “Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon. Later during the remainder of the war, she served at the Louisville Women’s Prison Hospital and at an orphan asylum in Clarksville, Tennessee.
President Andrew Johnson signed a bill on November 11, 1865, to present Walker with the Medal of Honor for Meritorious Service. The medal was stripped from her (and several others) by government action from 1916 to 1917. It was reinstated to her in 1977. She remains the only woman to receive the Medal of Honor. Dr. Walker spent the remainder of her life advancing the cause of women’s rights.
Lauren Woodman, Chief Executive Officer of NetHope, a consortium of nearly 60 global nonprofits, empowers committed organizations to change the world through the power of technology.
“For over 17 years, NetHope and its members have united with technology corporations and funding partners to design, fund, apply, adapt, and scale innovative approaches to solve development, humanitarian, and conservation challenges.”
Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was determined to do her work as a doctor which was quite unusual. Nowadays women have many venues to provide them with the satisfying work that they desire.
Check out what you can learn from #Break the Bias.