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Posts Tagged ‘women’

CultureGrams: International Women’s Day (March 8)

Women in Kenya (photo via the CultureGrams Photo Gallery)

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 (this Wednesday) around the world. Learn how it’s observed in various countries from CultureGrams:

  • Burkina Faso: On International Women’s Day, official celebrations are held in cities. Many Burkinabè, especially women, dress up in a fabric designed each year for the event. People also celebrate by going to bars to drink, eat, and dance.
  • Kyrgyzstan: On International Women’s Day, men give gifts to the women in their lives, including grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, classmates, co-workers, and wives or girlfriends.
  • Mauritania: International Women’s Day is celebrated in each regional capital with a fair at which women’s cooperatives from the surrounding area display and sell their goods. A ceremony is held and includes speeches by government leaders. Many development organizations present awareness campaigns.
  • Ukraine: On International Women’s Day, everyone gets the day off work. Women receive flowers and gifts, as well as household help from their husbands. Special attention is paid to mothers, and girls are congratulated as future women.
  • Madagascar: International Women’s Day is celebrated across Madagascar, even in small villages. The day’s events typically include a gathering at the mayor’s office, where women’s groups perform traditional dances for the town’s officials in return for a small monetary gift. Women in the northeastern part of the island commonly wear matching blouses and lamba (long cotton wraps). They often make noise using whistles and condensed-milk cans fashioned into rattles.

Women in Voloina, Madagascar, celebrate International Women’s Day (photo via the CultureGrams Photo Gallery)

Learn more about holidays around the world from the Holidays section of World and Kids edition CultureGrams reports!

Education Activist Malala Yousafzai: “Books Not Bullets!”

Infographic: Girls' Education Access

On October 9, 2012, a Taliban gunman stormed Malala Yousafzai’s school bus in Pakistan, asked for her by name, and shot her in the head. The Taliban tried to silence Malala, an outspoken advocate for girls’ education rights. Malala survived. Her voice has soared. Since the attack, Malala has continued to fight for education access, particularly for girls.

Girls worldwide face specific challenges because of their gender. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 31 million girls of primary school age are denied access to education. Two-thirds of illiterate people worldwide are female. World conflicts, poverty, health-related issues, childhood marriage, pregnancy, and biased cultural attitudes are all factors that limit girls’ access to education. Increased education access improves social outcomes, such as lowering maternal childbirth rates, improving the health of families, and narrowing the gender wage gap.

When Malala turned 18 in July 2015, she addressed the issue of education funding. Her message to the world: “Books not bullets!” Malala called on world leaders to divert a portion of military spending to fund education. She cited an Education for All Global Monitoring Project study, which found that if the world halted military spending for eight days, the savings would be enough to fund 12 years of free education for every child in the world. This proposal, outlined in a Malala Fund report, demonstrates that funding for universal education is within reach.

The Twitter campaign #booksnotbullets features people around the world showing their support for education access by showcasing their favorite books. Books open worlds, bullets close them. Malala’s inspiring words remind us all, especially during the back-to-school season, that education should be our top priority.

Share your #booksnotbullets images with us on Twitter @ProQuest.

SKS Spotlight of the Month: Women’s History Month

Each March in the United States, we celebrate Women’s History Month. We honor the many women who, throughout the centuries, dedicated their lives to furthering the cause of equality for women. We honor the women who made it possible for young girls of today to dream of becoming a scientist, a business owner, a military officer, a politician, or even the President of the United States.

The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) supported USAID's sponsorship of the Arab Women's Forum in Cairo in May 2003. Attended by 25 women from 12 Arab countries, the forum developed an action plan for women's empowerment that focuses on legal, political, and economic issues. Specific proposals developed by the forum will be supported with MEPI funds. <br \> by U.S. State Department, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) supported USAID’s sponsorship of the Arab Women’s Forum in Cairo in May 2003. Attended by 25 women from 12 Arab countries, the forum developed an action plan for women’s empowerment that focuses on legal, political, and economic issues. Specific proposals developed by the forum will be supported with MEPI funds.
by U.S. State Department, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

In some parts of the world, however, women’s rights movements have not effected such dramatic change. In many countries, women are plagued by violence, horrid working conditions, virginity tests, and inequality in political representation and in the courts. However, beginning with the ambitious global effort dubbed the UN Decade for Women (1975-1985), the issue of women’s rights has slowly begun to shape myriad cultures around the world. Over the past decade, the international landscape of women’s rights has been peppered with bravery: the Yugoslavian Women’s Court Initiative, the European Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, female workers in Sri Lanka staging a groundbreaking mass protest, gender equality voted into the Moroccan Constitution, and the education campaign of Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafza. Around the world, the emergence and evolution of the struggle women’s rights remains grounded in the slogan developed at the 1993 UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna: “women’s rights are human rights.”

Join this month’s SKS Spotlight of the Month in honoring Women’s History Month. Take pride in the awesome strides made by strong and dedicated women in the United States, and marvel at the brave and tireless women across the world struggling for each small step in women’s freedom and equality.

SIRS Discoverer Spotlight of the Month: Women’s History Month

Women's Basketball Team at Smith College <br \> Wikimedia Commons, via ProQuest SIRS Discoverer [Public Domain]

Women’s Basketball Team at Smith College
Wikimedia Commons, via ProQuest SIRS Discoverer [Public Domain]

The lives of American women are very different now than they were centuries, even decades, ago. Did you know that there was a time when women were not allowed to serve in the military? Or that it was illegal for a woman to vote? Or that wives were once considered their husband’s property? Because of the work and dedication of many strong women, those things have changed. Women have more rights than they had even fifty years ago, and women today keep striving for equality in every part of life. March is a great time of year to honor the many women who have furthered women’s rights by making important changes in our country.

Join SIRS Discoverer’s March Spotlight of the Month in honoring Women’s History Month. Learn about the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, meet African-American women who have changed history, read about early female politicians, follow women’s increasing role in the military , and celebrate women’s scientific achievements. Perhaps you will become inspired to thank a woman who has made a positive impact in your life!

SKS Spotlight: Women’s History Month

Ever wonder how Women’s History Month came to be? Its origins can be traced back to the first National Women’s Day, celebrated in the United States in 1909. Two years later, an International Women’s Day was observed in several European countries, and in 1949, China celebrated its first Women’s Day. The United Nations first recognized International Women’s Day in 1977 by proclaiming March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace. The following year, America celebrated its first Women’s History Week. Finally, in 1987, the U.S. Congress expanded the observation to the month of March. Since then, each March has been designated Women’s History Month.

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A WAC armorer repairs a 1903 Springfield rifle, Camp Campbell, Kentucky, 1944.
by National Archives, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

This month’s SKS Spotlight of the Month reflects on Title IX, women in the military, women’s education, and milestones in women’s history. Women, from Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, are featured. Learn about the Women’s Army Corps of World War II and test your knowledge on Sally Ride, the nation’s first female astronaut in space. Join SKS in honoring women in the United States and around the world.

SIRS Discoverer Spotlight: Women’s History Month

Three suffragists casting votes in New York City, ca. 1917 <br />  by National Photo Company Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, via ProQuest SIRS Discoverer [Public Domain]

Three suffragists casting votes in New York City, ca. 1917
by National Photo Company Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, via ProQuest SIRS Discoverer [Public Domain]

Who are the important women in your life? Your mom? Your grandmother? A coach? A favorite teacher? March is a great time to tell them how special they are, because it’s Women’s History Month! During Women’s History Month, people across the nation honor women and their accomplishments. SIRS Discoverer celebrates Women’s History Month by introducing you to women who helped make a difference, such as civil rights leader Sojourner Truth; brave aviator Amelia Earhart; the first woman in the U.S. Congress, Jeannette Rankin; and the first female astronaut in space, Sally Ride. Also learn about significant events in women’s history, including the Equal Rights Amendment, Title IX, and the birth of the Girl Scouts. Visit March’s Discoverer Spotlight of the Month and honor women who make a difference.