Happy International Women’s Month, Modern Filipinas! Since the early 1900s, International Women’s Month has been celebrated annually in countries around the world. It is a time to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women, while also working to promote gender equality.
But how did it start?
The History of International Women’s Month
The origins of International Women’s Month can be traced back to the early 1900s when women’s groups in the United States began lobbying for a special day to honor women. In 1908, American suffragette Alice Paul proposed that March 8th be designated as International Women’s Day. This proposal was later adopted by the International Socialist Women’s Conference in 1910.
International Women’s Day continued to be celebrated each year, but it wasn’t until 1975 that international women’s month was officially recognized by the United Nations. The UN declared March as international women’s month in order to highlight the importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Today, International Women’s Month is celebrated in countries around the world. It is a time to recognize the achievements of women, raise awareness about gender inequality, and promote gender equality.
Why Is It Celebrated in March?
Fun fact: not everybody celebrates it in March!
While March has almost become synonymous with International Women’s Month in the Philippines, this isn’t always the case. Some countries celebrate International Women’s Month in other months. For example, Canada celebrates it in February while Rwanda celebrates it in October.
Regardless of when it is celebrated, International Women’s Month is an important time to focus on the importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women. It is a time to recognize the progress that has been made, but also to identify areas where more work is needed. Gender inequality continues to be a major issue worldwide and it is important to continue working to address this issue.
International Women’s Month in the Philippines
In the Philippines, International Women’s Month is celebrated throughout the month of March. According to the Philippine Commission on Women, the theme for the National Women’s Month Celebration is “We Make Change Work for Women,” which was adopted in 2017. The goal is to empower women as active contributors, stakeholders alongside men during times of development. These pursuits also anchor on True Compassion and Real Change (Malasakit at Pagbabago) — two things we should all be able practice more often if you ask me!
The celebration in the Philippines focuses on the importance of empowering women and girls through education and economic empowerment. It also aims to raise awareness about the various forms of violence that women face, such as physical violence, sexual violence, and emotional violence.
The Philippines has made significant progress when it comes to gender equality, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. International Women’s Month provides a time for reflection and renewing commitment to achieve gender equality.
Wait, Why Is There No International Men’s Month?
I don’t know about you, but personally, I’ve encountered men in my life who say, “Men should have our own month,” or “It’s unfair for women to have a month but not men.” *insert eyeroll here*
Their reasoning? Men also face various forms of discrimination and inequality. So, why isn’t there a month dedicated to them?
There are a few reasons that there is no men’s month. For one, men already have many dominant platforms throughout a year wherein their voices can be heard. Men’s issues are also often given more attention than women’s issues. This is evident in the way that the media often focuses on stories about male violence, for example, while rarely discussing violence against women.
It is important to recognize that gender inequality affects both men and women. However, the focus of International Women’s Month is to highlight the ways in which women are disadvantaged and discriminated against. This is not to say that men don’t experience inequality, but simply that the focus of International Women’s Month is on women’s issues.
How Can I Celebrate Women’s Month?
Whether you’re a man, woman, or anything in between, you can take part in the celebration of International Women’s Month. There are many ways you can observe it and show your support. Here are a few suggestions:
- Learn about the history of international women’s month and the struggles that women have faced in order to achieve equality. What we’ve discussed is honestly just the tip of the iceberg. Research on women’s issues that have plagued your area (as this is different from locale to locale) and make an effort to get others to learn more about them.
- Advocate for gender equality. Speak out against discrimination and violence against women and promote policies that aim to address these issues.
- Educate yourself about the different forms of violence that women face and take action to prevent these forms of violence from happening.
- Promote education for girls and young women. Girls’ education is crucial for achieving gender equality and it is essential to ensure that all girls have access to quality education.
- Support organizations that work to empower women and girls. There are many organizations that are doing great work to promote gender equality and it is important to show your support!
- Celebrate the accomplishments of women. There are many inspiring women who have made a difference in the world and it is important to celebrate their achievements. A few notable Filipinas include the country’s first Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, real-life Darna Angel Locsin, PNRI Nuclear Reactor Operations Section Head Dr. Alvie Astronomo, Vice President Leni Robredo, and Filipina scientist Maria Ylagan Orosa.
- Raise awareness about the issue of gender inequality. Share articles, videos, and other content that discuss the importance of gender equality.
- Stand up against sexism and misogyny. Sexism and misogyny are pervasive problems that need to be addressed. Speak out against these attitudes and behaviors whenever you encounter them. Yes, this includes your friends and family.
- Show your support for women’s rights. Wear a pin, sticker, or badge that displays your support for women’s rights. Buy from women-owned business whenever you can!
- Spread the word! Tell your friends, family, and colleagues about International Women’s Month and why it is important to celebrate women’s achievements. The more the merrier, right?
To all the fabulous, beautiful, strong, and intelligent women reading this, remember: BABAE KA, hindi babae lamang. You have so much to offer the world and there is so much world in store for you. Celebrate your fellow women not just this month but every month. Now go conquer the world!
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Nikki is a petite marketing copywriter by day, unicorn-chaser by night with a thirst for exploring the big world.