We don’t have to tell you that yesterday was International Women’s Day.
The occasion dominated social media feeds, news headlines and conversation worldwide. It inspired powerful protests, artwork and the arrival of flowers at the homes and workplaces of countless females.
As the conversation continues the next day, the ladies are still riding a well-deserved high.
Here are some of the most notable things that happened for International Women’s Day.
Hundreds of Young Women Filled the House of Commons
Young women of all backgrounds, hometowns and with varying levels of education converged in Ottawa yesterday to take over the House of Commons. Dispelling any notion that young Canadians are disengaged with the political process, the Daughters of the Vote – organized by Equal Voice Canada – filled the 250 seats that are normally occupied by men and the 88 held by women. On the table were pressing issues like sexual assault, healthcare, hate speech, aboriginal rights and indigenous suicide and the lingering pay gap.
A ‘Fearless Girl’ Now Stares Down Wall Street’s ‘Charging Bull’
You now have another excuse to book that last-minute trip to New York City. Until next week (and likely longer), you’ll find a brand new statue of a fierce young girl staring down Wall Street’s famous “Charging Bull.” Created by artist Kristen Visbal, the bronze statue was created by asset management firm State Street Global Advisors to make the point that there is a troubling lack of females on the boards of the largest US corporations. “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference,” reads a plaque at her feet.
Michelle Obama Made a Surprise Appearance to a Group of School Girls
The school day got a lot more exciting for a group of girls studying at a DC school yesterday when Michelle Obama decided to drop in for a surprise visit (no big deal, right?) to mark International Women’s Day. When the former First Lady entered the classroom to do a roundtable talk, some of the young women were understandably moved to tears. Obama was full of hugs and powerful words, as she discussed the importance of education in her life and theirs. Several students are from the school’s international program for recent immigrants.
Some of the World’s Biggest Celebs Penned a Letter to Mark the Occasion
Some of Hollywood’s most famous faces united for the love of a female to sign an open letter to mark International Women’s Day. This included Beyoncé, Madonna, Coldplay, Julia Roberts and John Legend, among others. “We have reached a critical moment in history,” the letter on behalf of Global Citizen and Chime for Change reads. “Recent legislation and rhetoric have put decades of progress for girls and women at risk.” Dozens of celebrities also took to social media Wednesday to mark the day.
Women’s Protests Were Impossible to Ignore
Not only did International Women’s Day inspire a massive movement on social media, fierce females took to the streets in many cities to protest in person. South of the border, thousands of women protested Trump’s administration with “A Day Without a Woman” by skipping work. In having women flex their economic muscle, the goal was to call attention to the gender pay gap and compromising access to reproductive health services. The nationwide strike was orchestrated by the same activists behind the January 21st Women’s March On Washington, which notoriously overshadowed Trumps inauguration.
Prime Minister Trudeau Promised $650M for Reproductive Rights
Self-proclaimed feminist Justin Trudeau made a major announcement yesterday by promising $650 million for reproductive health rights around the world. The dollars will be invested over a three-year period and will support projects that provide sex education, strengthen reproductive health services and support family planning and contraceptives. Additionally, it will fund long-term programs to respond to sexual and gender-based violence. The figure represents double the current amount.
Thanks to the growing dialogue and initiatives like these, it’s safe to say that the future really is female, and that this notion goes well beyond a perpetually trending hashtag.