This International Women’s Day, the internet continues to prove an important tool for historical education, and raising awareness about contemporary issues. The holiday began in 1908 in New York City, when women working in the needle trades took to the streets to protest child labor laws and demand women’s suffrage. The holiday was recognized domestically in 1910, and in the 70s the UN pushed for international recognition.
Today, celebrities and politicians alike honor the continuous contributions of women in several different spheres, from film and music to politics. Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi took to Twitter to share a statement on the importance of women’s education and participation in U.S. politics.
If I had the power to do only one thing, it would be to uplift education for women and girls around the world. Because nothing is more wholesome for our country and for the world than the increased participation and leadership of women. -NP #InternationalWomensDay pic.twitter.com/1zlBiG53nh
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) March 8, 2023
Former First Lady Michelle Obama teamed up with human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and Melinda French Gates to release an article on the importance of ending child marriage globally. The piece was published in Time.
This #InternationalWomensDay, I hope you’ll read my piece with Amal Clooney and @MelindaGates in @TIME about how we’re working together to help end child marriage—one of the greatest barriers to girls’ education and empowerment worldwide. https://t.co/kYTx4ywFOD
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) March 8, 2023
The article was met with support across Twitter, with several activists applauding the piece and the resources it named.
Women can do anything! Congratulations on International Women’s Day!
— Harjinder Singh Kukreja (@SinghLions) March 8, 2023
You can take action today to support girls through the @GirlsAlliance Fund: https://t.co/uAJh9LcqLy
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) March 8, 2023
Others took to Twitter to specifically honor the long history of activism from Black American women. The American Civil Rights Movement often memorializes primarily Black male activists, and this year people want to set the record straight.
“fuck it, i’ll do it!” —black women
Black women are routinely erased from public memory and historical narratives of resistance.
Black women powered the civil rights movement, but rarely became its stars. #InternationalWomensDay
A THREAD! pic.twitter.com/Qmw1NFtNVD
— AFRICAN & BLACK HISTORY (@AfricanArchives) March 8, 2023
Many also honored the Indigenous women of North America, who have continuously pioneered the fight to have their voices heard and their native land respected.
I see you — I celebrate you. #InternationalWomensDay 🪶✨ pic.twitter.com/i0C54S9Nen
— Lakota Man (@LakotaMan1) March 8, 2023
Mexican-American Tejano singer Selena was also honored today, as she remains number one on the Billboard charts’ list of female vocalists, and Latin artists,. Selena has long been viewed as a powerful force in the introduction of Latin music to an international audience, even over 20 years after her death.
#InternationalWomensDay is all about female empowerment.
28 years later, Selena remains Billboard’s #1 “Female Greatest of All Time, Latin Artists”.
How has Selena inspired you?#EmbraceEquity #IWD2023 #InternationalWomensDay pic.twitter.com/6wW08mAzpt
— Selena (@SelenaLaLeyenda) March 8, 2023
Amid the many uplifting stories, U.S. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene took to Twitter to post a transphobic campaign announcement, misgendering transgender women athletes. As to be expected, the ad was met with mixed reactions, as the topic remains a politically divisive issue.
— Bob Besser (@Bob_Besser) March 8, 2023
While there has been plenty of progress made towards gender equality in the U.S., things took a shocking turn when Roe v. Wade was overturned in June of 2022. Since abortion rights were left up to the states, total and partial abortion bans have rapidly spread across the nation. Today, five women are suing the state of Texas over its abortion restrictions, arguing that it endangered their lives.
Five women who say they were denied abortions even when pregnancy endangered their lives are suing Texas over its abortion ban saying the law is creating confusion among doctors. https://t.co/bbRczkY4BF pic.twitter.com/f2NhAZwdMR
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 8, 2023
Outside of the U.S., Iranian women continue the fight for freedom. In September, 22-year-old Masha Amini was arrested and executed for not complying with wearing a hijab. TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram have long proven important platforms for organizing activist groups and spreading awareness of contemporary political issues. Amini’s case was the first in recent years to be broadcast to an international audience. Today, Iran trends on Twitter as women take to the streets to continue to protest the harsh restrictions and unjust executions.
100 Women of the Year in Iran:
Women having removed their headscarves holding them in the middle of the crowd in Kerman#InternationalWomensDaypic.twitter.com/3oYxqK59Pn
— 1500tasvir_en (@1500tasvir_en) March 8, 2023
In London, England, women took to the streets in a powerful silent protest in solidarity with Iranian women. The protestors wore outfits reminiscent of the uniforms in the popular dystopian novel turned television show The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. The novel describes a society that harshly oppresses women. Each protestor additionally carried images of Iranian women who were executed for their protests, or activists from Iranian history.
Powerful silent demonstration down Piccadilly right now on behalf of Iranian women #InternationalWomensDay #WomenLifeFreedom pic.twitter.com/Lqpxf2D5eu
— John O'Farrell (@mrjohnofarrell) March 8, 2023
While there are several struggles for women across the world that remain ongoing, one thing is for certain–the internet has become a hub for women to support each other, even from across the world.