#BalanceforBetter: International Women’s Day

MARA Blog
Logo from International Women's Day Site

Published: March 8, 2019 By Katie Kuryla

It is International Women’s Day on March 8th and to celebrate, cities around the world are showing examples of #BalanceforBetter, this years theme. If you are in Chicago, check out the event where an art therapist talks about her proposal for an art therapy archives.

Recently I’ve been reading the book Code Girls. It is an oral history book about the Code Girls from Bletchley Park. Reading this book, it is right in time with International Women’s Day and there are some great events that need to be shared!

First, a little history. The early 20th Century was a time when women were becoming more active in their protests against oppression and gender inequality, leading marches and campaigns to demand equal rights. March 8th is International Women’s day because in 1910, during the International Conference of Working Women, Clara Zetkin of Germany’s Social Democratic Party proposed that a day needed to be set aside every year across the world to celebrate women and reinforce their demands. This proposal was accepted and put into practice in 1914 starting in Germany and Europe and spread across the globe over the years. The reason it took four years is because it took that long to decide on the day. In 1975, the United Nations announced that International Women’s Day would be an official day of observance for all of its member countries.

This year, the theme #BalanceforBetter has really  gained momentum in the professional world. The theme is meant to promote a future in which both men and women are equal in professional status, media, perception, the positions they hold in government and more. On March 7th, in Chicago, Jane Addams Hull-house Museum, art therapist Leah Gipson, and Scheherazade Tillet, the co-founder of A Long Walk Home, Inc. (a nonprofit that uses art to educate, inspire, and mobilize young people to end violence against girls and women). hosted a panel about exploring resistance and resilience of women and girls of color through archives and photography that document community-centered art practices. Leah Gipson shared her proposal of an art therapy archive that she wants to house on the West Side of Chicago. So it will be interesting to see this art therapy archive if it accepted.

All over the world, there is a special tradition for celebrating International Women’s Day. It would be interesting to see which cities are showcasing the day with a history timeline in a museum or the state archives. Do you know what celebration your city is doing for International Women’s Day?

For more information, click here: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/