I first heard of International Women’s Day about six years ago when I started a job that held an event to celebrate and recognise women for all that they have done and continue to do. It has actually been around for well over a century (since 1911) and falls on 8th March everywhere in the world. It doesn’t belong to any charity, or any company, or any one person; it is a day where anyone can celebrate the achievements of women and has become a day that we use to accelerate action for gender parity.
Its purple symbol (and purple itself as a colour) stands for justice and dignity.
The world has witnessed a significant change in people’s thoughts, and approach, to gender equality. It was Clara Zetkin, a woman from Germany, who came up with the idea that once a year, no matter where you are in this world, we stand together for women’s rights. Over a century on, we still hold that day true to us. Yes, we have some way to go, and movements like the #MeToo movement shows this in abundance but look how far we have come. It brings me great joy to celebrate something with such significant history and also, to reflect on where we are and what there is left to do.
As a female business owner in today’s society, I feel empowered and supported being a woman in business. I am one of the lucky ones, I know and I am so grateful. Of course, you get one or two absolute out of date, egocentric **** that do not have a clue about anything further than their own comfort zone but thank goodness they are the minority.
So, with that said, I’d like to focus on three women that I feel truly have impacted this world and stood for change. Change with purpose. There are many things in this world that is forever changing but those that go about it with purpose are those that set our souls on fire. They make the world a better place and for that, I’d like to celebrate them. Because there are so many awesome women out there, I’ve tried to keep to women that have causes close to my heart also, and of course, women that love to wear beautiful leather gloves!
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Celine Dion is 52 years old this year and released her first record (wait for it) 40 years ago. Yes, when she was 12. She married René Angélil who was her musical producer and a manger for 14 years before they married. They got married in 1994 but he sadly passed in 2016.
Celine is not only a singer, but a wife, mother of three, business woman and entrepreneur. She owns a huge restaurant chain and speaks five languages. Above all, she uses her power to make change in this world.
Celine’s work with Cystic Fibrosis Canada particularly springs to mind. This is a genetic disorder where you receive a faulty gene from both parents that affects mainly the lungs where mucus builds up, but other organs also. Advances in this illness have come on tremendously and it is something that you can manage, given the right medication and care plan. But it has been through raising awareness, and vital funds, that these advances have happened and this condition which affects over 10,000 in the UK are living longer, and improved, lives.
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I’m not sure it’s even possible to mention International Women’s Day without mentioning Angelina Jolie. I love this woman. If there is woman love out there, I have it.
Angelina is 43 years old and has six children with Brad Pitt, her ex-husband. Angelina is known for her plethora of humanitarian work, including her own Jolie-Pitt foundation and her work as the Goodwill Ambassador and Special Envoy for the United Nations. However, Angelina’s speech in 2017 for the Women in Entertainment event is what really moved me.
She spoke of how women can and should assert themselves because we live in a society where we can help other women, who don’t have that power to break free also. It came at a time where unity was needed, and perspective. Those that live in conflict, and terrorism, those with no voice. She spoke about, and still advocates, change by using her voice to help others do the same. It is in this, I find inspiration. You do as you say, as you promise.
What I love most about Angelina is that she recognises our privileges, and her own privileges, and uses them to help shape and make change. That’s the change with purpose I referred to earlier. Angelina doesn’t just talk a good talk, she looks forward, and continues. She is unstoppable and an absolute inspiration to women out there. She makes me feel that the little voice I have in this big wide world, can make a difference to someone out their.
Michelle is someone I have taken particular interest in since her book launch and I am so glad I did.
Michelle was first lady of the United State from 2009-17 and is married to the 44th president, Barack Obama. She is a wife, mother of two, writer and lawyer. Michelle has used her power and this opportunity to help break moulds and change society.
Michelle launched the Global Girl Alliance in 2018. It seeks to empower young females through access to education. It does this by looking at local communities and connecting the relevant people who are better positioned to advocate change and facilitate learning. It helps support grassroot female leaders globally, so that they can stay in positions of leadership, and grow. This foundation has allowed females who wouldn’t have access to education, or those that would not have access to further education, to learn and take control of their own destiny.
I’d like to wish every woman out there a happy International Woman’s Day and may we all stand together, despite our differences, to celebrate all that we have achieved and find unity in what is left to do.