March 8 marks International Women’s Day, which has been celebrated for more than 100 years in countries across the globe.
As members of a profession in which women predominate, nurses are particularly conscious of the need to continue the effort everywhere in the world to secure justice and equality for girls and women that International Women’s Day symbolizes.
United Nurses of Alberta has long emphasized equality for all working people, regardless of their gender, in the way it represents its members and in the broader positions it takes issues in Canadian and Alberta society.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is, A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge.
The origins of International Women’s Day have been traced to labour disputes in New York City in 1857 and 1908, in which workers protested the dangerous, overcrowded and exploitive working conditions of women in the garment industry. The first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911 and, in 1977, the United Nations urged all countries to set aside a day to celebrate women’s rights.
The symbols of International Women’s Day are bread and roses – the bread representing women’s struggle for economic equality and the roses their women’s continuing efforts for a better quality of life.