International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.
After the Socialist Party of America organized a Women’s Day on February 28, 1909 in New York, the 1910 International Socialist Woman’s Conference suggested a Women’s Day be held annually. After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations.
Today, International Women’s Day is a public holiday in some countries and largely ignored elsewhere. In some places, it is a day of protest; in others, it is a day that celebrates womanhood.
Below is a statement from Mrs Ese Ibor, Project Coordinator at Basic Rights Counsel Initiative (BRCI) to mark this year’s IWD with the theme Balance for Better.
It is International Women’s Day and I am celebrating myself and every woman out there. As a woman, I am a mother, a wife and I have a career.
Though my life generally has been defined by being a child rights activist and advocate, I didn’t plan on becoming one until I met my husband in 2007. He is a human right activist with a difference and a feminist (by choice as he fondly calls himself). His high sense of principle and passion for what he does rubbed off on me. I am successful today because I have the support of my husband. But for so many women, they don’t have the support of their husbands but they are successful regardless.
When we started Basic Rights Counsel Initiative in 2011, I was in charge while my husband focused on his Law practice. Since we had no funds to employ people, I did virtually everything; from being the coordinator to field worker, to writing reports, proposals, doing work plans, counselling, etc. Basically, I was just building structures that will take the organization to an enviable level. I can say now with all sense of purpose and fulfilment that from 2011 till date that as an organization although we are not where we wish to be yet but we are in a very good place; a tremendous improvement and success story from where we started from. We have touched the lives of over 380 children and 51 women.
As a wife, people have come to ask me how do I sleep at night with my husband tackling high profile cases and what many people term ‘dangerous’. It bothered me initially but I realized that my duty is to support him because I also came to realize that when you are fighting for what is right, you are fighting to make the Society better for children.
I also want to say I am strong today not because I never failed or I have never been weak or I have never cried but because I pulled through it all and I am a better person.
My greatest motivation in life is not just being a mother, it is putting smiles on children’s faces, being a voice for them, an inspiration and a role model. It is why I wake up every morning to do what I do. I want to say Happy International Women’s Day to the women in my life and to women all over the world.
And in line with this year’s theme “Balance for Better”, I join all women to call for gender balance across the world for a better society.
Other women at BRCI had something to say.
Mrs Christiana Anointed Enoh
Womanhood is beautiful and I’m glad I’m a woman. God has blessed us with so much grace that enables us to achieve so much with so little. Keep the beauty glowing if you are a woman out there and remain influential.
Peace Ani Ita
I have learnt that in all spheres of life it is important to persevere and be resilient because one may not achieve most things without these attributes. More so, I encourage education and hard work amongst women as this will help them gain laudable/sensitive positions and have a voice in the society
At BRCI today, we celebrated our women by cutting a cake and exchanging messages aimed at inspiring them. We acknowledge the important role our women have played in the work we do.