Today is international women day, a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. It is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action - whatever that looks like globally at a local level. International women day has been celebrated for over 100 years around the world.
It all began in 1908. Women's oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. In New York, on March 8th 15,000 women marched demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. By 1917 the demonstrations had spread around the world and Women’s day marches in St Petersburg initiated the February Revolution. Women in Saint Petersburg went on strike that day for "Bread and Peace” demanding the end of World War I, an end to Russian food shortages, and the end of Tzarism. These powerful protests continued and lead to the October revolution that brought down the Russian empire and ended hundreds of years of Romanov dynastic rule and the end of the monarchy by murder of the Russian Royal family. In the aftermath Lenin took power with communistic rule and the Soviet Union was born. The catalyst for arguably the greatest period of change in Russian history all started on international women day 100 years ago in 2017.
International Women's Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations (UN) in 1975. By December 1977it was declared an official day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
In over century since it began, International women’s day grows each year with more events, marches, projects and campaigns to support women that the previous year. To me, it is a day to celebrate women’s achievements, support and inspire each other to strive for what we want to achieve. This years theme is “BE BOLD FOR CHANGE”. Over the last 2 years I have completely changed my life from living in London with a full time job, a regular salary and a place I called home (See previous blogs for details). It took A LOT to be bold, reach for my dreams and to completely dismantle the sensible life I had spent years creating, and one that society expected of me, to give it all up for adventure, travel and voluntary projects whilst living as a nomad. It hasn’t been a completely smooth journey but I’ve never been happier and more fulfilled, but I still question myself sometimes and am working harder than ever.
There are so many women out there being bold, making changes and bulldozing through any restrictions around them. Within our realms we all have women who inspire us and who prompt us to evaluate what we are doing and make us ask ourselves the questions: what makes me happy? How can I give back? Am I fulfilling my potential? Am I making the most of my time on earth? In this blog I’m sharing my list of women who inspire me to be bold and make change, check them out if you need some inspiration.
Helen is a former Blue Peter presenter, adventurer, record holder, Olympic commentator, fashionista and most amazing role model showing women that they really can have it all, adventure, a hugely successful career as well as being a mum and wife. @HelenSkelton
This girl has guts. She cycled across south America with no money, relying on the kindness of people to feed her. This meant every day that she had to build up the courage to ask for food, help and shelter, often going without. The expedition stripped away any comforts life affords and shows the kindness of strangers and questions what we really in life to survive. She knows what suffering is and makes me question what is materialistically necessary. Her journey also reminds me to be grateful for even the small things we take for granted. @LauraBingham93
Is a seriously tough athlete and adventurer, whilst also being very entertaining to follow. Her endeavours include cycling across America and running the whole length of New Zealand solo. Anna also puts a lot of time and effort into installing confidence into women and young girls so that they can take the first step into adventure, and thats a fantastic thing that is owed huge applause. @AnnaMcNuff
Sophie always wears a smile and puts a positive spin on life. Her posts always pick up my mood and her honesty is refreshing. She's your biggest supporter to help you achieve what you want in life. @challengesophie
This girl doesn’t shy away from the biggest of challenges and appears to enjoy pain! She has swum the length of the Thames and SUP 1,000 miles. In her next challenge she plans to be the first female to row the Pacific solo! She gives me perspective when I think struggling. @Ness_Knight
Lauren lead the Row like a girl team across the Atlantic to break 2 world records and was the stand out team member on the 2014TV show Bear Grylls The Island. Her frank and tough girl approach has the world standing up to listen and laughing at her bold no nonsense approach which makes you think that she could take over the world. @MortonLauren
She is not only the loveliest person you will meet, but she proves that you can balance a career and amazing adventures whilst doing good for the planet. Michelle is the SUP expert having traversed the length of the Thames and being one of the volunteer organisers of the Thames festival, encouraging SUP participation and advocating for cleaner water ways and plastic recycling. She is also half way through the huge commitment and undertaking of climbing the 48 highest peaks in Europe with her former house mates whilst training to run the London marathon for charity! This girl shows us all how to multi task! @shells_louise @48peakslater
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