Happy International Women’s Day! At The Well Store we’re fiercely supportive of lady-start-ups like ours and we encourage the rise and rise of women to become independent and universally championed all over the world. So it’s our pleasure to reflect on International Women’s Day (IWD) and what it means to us.
When did this golden day first start being celebrated? Let’s step back in time to 1909. As far as we know, the first National Woman's Day was observed in the United States on 28 February that year, when the Socialist Party of America specified this day in honour of the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York, where women protested against their working conditions.
Other countries began observing their own “National Women’s Day” in successive years, including in Russia in 1917, when women protested for "Bread and Peace" during WWI on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar). Four days later, the Czar abdicated and the Government granted women the right to vote.
Fast-forward to 1975, and the United Nations officially decreed International Women’s Day (IWD) be celebrated on 8 March. These days, IWD is a day to recognise women for their achievements in both developed worlds, like our own lucky country, and developing worlds, where girls and women are still fighting for equality, vital healthcare and true freedom.
It’s a day to put side all the factors that stand us apart in everyday life, from the colour of our skin, our cultural background, our socio-economic status, economic or political position. It’s a day to be unified in our mission to empower girls and women with equal rights and opportunities that allow them to be the best person they can be.
What’s interesting is that International Women's Day first emerged from the activism of women to be taken seriously in their workplace. It was the labour movements in the early 20th century that drove women to strike and protest against the status quo.
And what we love about this is that it reflects how The Well Store evolved from my need to generate my own workplace that fitted around my family life and my own unique situation. A workplace that didn’t discriminate against my need for flexibility, my gender, my beliefs, and my fierce passion to unearth all the wonderful toxin-free products that do not pose a risk to our health.
The success of my business was partly possible because of all the hard work and passion of women (and supportive men!) before me, who fought for women’s rights and our participation in the economic world.
What’s clear is that although we’ve come a long way, women still have a few hurdles to jump. We may have the right to vote, to build businesses and to free education and healthcare but our pay is still not equal to that of our male counterparts.
And although most of us have the right to date, marry and divorce whoever we choose, women are still the victims of family violence on a horrifying national scale.
So on this day, and every day, let’s band together and empower each other, in both developed and developing countries alike, to allow doors to open and glass ceilings to shatter. To bring love into this sometimes heated debate and be kind and well to each other.
Be well xx