Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day and it sits within Women’s History Month, so I wanted to take time to recognize these events. International Women’s Day has political connotations, and I’m not interested in going there, but I do want to give you a brief background on both of these proclamations, as well as recognize some great women via their quotes, chosen for their inspirational nature. This accomplishes two things: it celebrates women but keeps it light.
I have some wonderful men who follow me, so I want to mention that there is also an International Men’s Day. Yay! It’s celebrated worldwide (60 countries) every year on November 19. We’ll do quotes by great men at that time.
IWD – A Bit of History
A world-wide event, International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrates achievements made by women in nearly any realm but often covers political or social aspects. Gender equality is of great importance when regarding these achievements. The day is with artistic performances, rallies, networking events, marches, and conferences.
IWD is not an “organization” by itself but brings together a myriad of entities: women’s groups, governments, corporations, charities, etc. It has its root in the 15,000 women’s march through New York City as women
demanded the right to vote, shorter hours, and better pay. That was in 1908. A year later, the United States observed the first National Woman’s Day.
In 1910, the leader of the “women’s office” of the German Social Democratic Party, Clara Zetkin, suggested that every country celebrate women one day every year and called it International Women’s Day. It was also intended to be a day when women would push for equality. A group of one hundred women from 17 countries strongly agreed, and IWD was born. Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, and Germany celebrated IWD for the first time on March 19, 1911. IWD was changed to March 8 in 1913. From then on, women (and I bet some men too) have celebrated it every year on that date.
In 1975, the United Nations recognized IWD, and a celebration theme has been created each year since then. This year’s theme is: “Time is Now: rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”. (I have no idea. 🙂)
In 2011, President Obama proclaimed March as Women’s History Month. His goal was to recognize the achievements of women and to promote gender equality around the world.
So, that’s the background, (kind of a yawn if it wasn’t so important, don’t you think?).
Quotes From Inspiring Women
These quotes aren’t in any particular order, but I have to admit that I chose some of the women because I liked to read about them when I was a child. I’ll put asterisks (**) by those quotes. 🙂
Here we go:
- “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa (1910-1997) **
- “Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back.” ~ Princess Diana (1961-1997)
- “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ~ Oprah Winfrey (1954)
- “I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.” ~ Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) **
- “Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.” ~ Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) **
- “I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move.” ~ Rosa Parks (1913-2005)
- “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” ~ Marie Curie (1867-1934) **
- “Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows.” ~ Helen Keller (1880-1968) **
- “Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)
- “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
- “I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay.” ~ Clara Barton (1821-1912) **
- “It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I cannot afford the luxury of a closed mind.” ~ Clara Barton **
- “Without great leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning” ~ Gloria Steinem (1934)
- “If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ~ Toni Morrison (1931)
- “Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you first hoped.” ~ Lillian Hellman (1905-1984)
- “Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.” ~ Shirley MacLaine (1934)
- “People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, there may be jealousy. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” ~ Mother Teresa (1910-1997) **