8 March 2021
Today at Fife College, we celebrate International Women’s Day. Why is it so important to you? What challenges have women faced throughout the years? Let’s have a look at the timeline shall we…
Women have been celebrating International Women’s Day since 1910. Primarily, International Women’s Day was a conference, held by Clara Zetkin, which in its first conference held 100+ attendees from 17 countries. It was later decided in 1913 that on the 8th March, every year, women would be listened to, heard, and supported. Let’s take a look at the timeline below for women throughout history and the movements that have been made:
Women were given the same rights to vote as men, however this was the only equality that they had back then but it was the first step in history for equality. When men from communities across the country were sent to fight in the war, women had to step up to many roles that only men originally had been able to do and fought for their place in society.
Only 1.2% of women attended college in the 1950’s, a women’s role in society was to be married, care for the home and have a family. In 2017/8, it was recorded that 57% of females went to college. Massive increase from 1950!
On June 23, 1973, women were granted access to all academic activities without having to be faced with discrimination. It was brought into law by United States President Richard Nixon, stating “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor is sworn in by President Ronald Reagan and became the first ever female to serve on the Supreme Court. She retired in 2006 after serving for over 20 years.
In 2010, the Equality Act 2010 was created to make it legal for men and women to have equal pay as each other for equal or similar work. Later in 2017, the UK introduced legislation on mandatory gender pay gap reporting for all employers with more than 250 employees to ensure that women were being paid the same as men in organisations, still an issue in society today.
Now, we continue to educate and equalise women with men. On January 20 2021, Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first woman and first woman of colour Vice President of the United States. "While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” a triumphant moment for women across the world.
Why do we celebrate this?
As you can see, women have had to fight their way to the same, equal rights as men and have done so since before we were even around.
Women should always feel empowered and feel as though they are able to do anything and accomplish absolutely everything that they put their mind to. With this day being important in history, it also helps us to look back at the microaggressions women faced and how far we have come since with thanks to their first step.
Though there is still some work to be done, we have progressed vastly in time.
Who do we celebrate?
We celebrate our female students, staff, stakeholders and readers.