This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign theme is #PressforProgress which calls for action to press forward and progress gender parity.
Now, more than ever it takes on a new meaning in light of the recent events not just exclusive to Hollywood and the politicians.
The campaign gives us five options of positive behaviours toward gender equality starting with maintaining a gender parity mindset all the way to celebrating women’s achievements.
I have chosen all five. But long before this campaign I had the positive influence of celebrating womanhood in the old country. The socialist government encouraged the celebration of IWD.
One of my favorite memories from the former socialist Czechoslovakia is the celebration of the International Women’s Day (IWD), both at work and at home.
The country very much valued its female population to the point that women could stay on a maternity leave for up to three years without losing their job. They received 60 percent of their salary for the first two years of their maternity leave with full salary for the first six months.
The nurseries were free as well as other preschool child-care establishments. While capitalism swiped all that away, the country did manage to keep all its old holidays along with the new ones. The country doubled up on fun when they picked back up Mother’s Day with the advance of the free market economy, and retained International Women’s Day from the past.
I still see well wishes to women from my Czech friends on Facebook on this day. Now, that warms my heart; the fact that both systems acknowledge a woman’s place in the society and in the workplace.
We used to get flowers or pantyhose at work, or the other way around at home. Even though now I don’t get either for this day, I still dedicate a memory, a post, or a wish to all the women in the world.
Inspired by the IWD tradition, I started my most popular story series, “Inspiring Women” in the winter of 2014. The series features women that are making a difference in their communities.
Since then, I have featured women from all walks of life: small town politicians, businesswomen, sportswomen, nuns, artists, doctors, herbalists, bloggers and many more. Each woman told her own story, and they were all inspiring. They are the
Fabric of their families and communities.
Just to name a few: Gail Lowe, Liz Baker, Betty Dickinson, Sharon Ellison, Betty Morlock, Mary Dailey Brown, Kathleen Mooney and most recently Betsy Davidson.
If you run into them, say thank you. Nominate a woman who has inspired you for a story.
Link to IWD is: https://internationalwomensday.com
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