March 11, 2013
News Roundup for International Women’s Day, 2013
by Kris Gutknecht
International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, 2013, is an internationally recognized holiday acknowleding the efforts and work of women, and calling for awareness towards gender inequality, and opportunity for women and girls. It is recognized as a state holiday in 27 countries (primarily in Eastern Europe and Asia; the only American country that officially recognizes the holiday is Cuba), and has been celebrated for over 100 years.
This year, events fell broadly into the categories of women’s appreciation and protest.
In Brazil, female World Cup workers were given a spa day funded by FIFA; they received flowers, beauty treatments, and attended talks on women’s issues. Similarly, 250 female workers blue collar workers in Rio de Janeiro received flowers and snacks, and a lottery prize draw. Both companies considered these work events their way of showing appreciation for women’s work. Nation-wide, Brazilian companies held similar days of appreciation.
In Israel, Google held a conference for women technology experts in its Electra Tower hackers’ space to promote networking and idea sharing. The all-female attended audience included techies, entrepreneurs, and, owners of start-ups. The evening fostered a spirit of community and support, and offered opportunity to give talks on their mostly-women-geared projects.
In Albania, women were permitted to protest peacefully for equality; in the Philippines, female marchers went head-to-head against riot police; in Hunan Province, China, women and girls held a massive, neighborhood pillow fight to celebrate the day.
Women’s Day events in the United States included protest marches to raise awareness for women’s equality, and also creative cultural rallies. Events included fine arts, crafts, education, and theater — everything from quilting to erotic self-portraits, with the theme of body self acceptance. Most had a Facebook element to promote awareness and connectivity.
Google, based in California, livestreamed webinars from the Global Tech Women conference. Those streams were available until April 8th, 2013.