International Women’s Day started with a movement of working class women in New York City who marched through New York in 1908 demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights, together with the first National Women’s Day held on February 28 1909. Every year has a theme and this year’s theme is #EachforEqual, realizing equality together with participants encouraged to actively decide to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s accomplishments”.
Vivienne Hayes, chief executive of the Women’s Resource Centre, said in a statement that this usage of International Women’s Day by companies is now part of their co-option of both feminism and women’s equality into a far more mainstream position, which has led to the corporatization of the progress of women’s rights. There’s a threat that Women’s day becomes a event somewhat like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day instead of giving visibility to the effect that women are making around the planet.
Hayes is also a leading figure in the Million Women Rise march, for which tens of thousands of women will head to central London on Saturday to protest against violence against women and women. All members are volunteers and the event, in its 13th year although it doesn’t have any corporate sponsorship or formal financing from any Company or Organization. It’s strictly a women only march and when a man would like to engage, they are politely asked to babysit kids while your mom, partner, sister, daughter, or friend attends the march”. Back in London by Care-International another march is organised Women’s day by which stars out of stage and screen marching shoulder-to-shoulder with grassroots campaigners for gender equality and climate justice”.
In recent years McDonald’s was accused of”McFeminism”, when it turned into the business’s logo of gold arches upside down to form the letter W to represent Women, although the beer brewing firm Brewdog was accused of cynical advertising after releasing a pink coloured beer around International Women’s Day, supposedly to raise awareness about gender pay inequality and sexist advertisements. If brands are to jump onto the springboard then they need to also open their pockets said Katie Russell of Rape catastrophe, England and Wales a network of independent Rape Crisis Centre, who’s on a fire walk before International Women’s Day to raise funds for Service after rape and sexual violence Leeds.
International Women’s Day is right around the corner according to feminists women’s day is at risk of becoming little more than a corporate Mother’s Day, together with companies jumping on the springboard to whitewash their products instead of endorse women’s equality. With brands offering discounts and offers on International Women’s Day products from pretty roses to hipster T-shirts inscribed with slogans such as”Woman Up”, equal rights campaigners have called on such companies to take action and donate to grassroots level causes on this International Women’s Day, which occurs on Sunday 8 March, instead of using it as a promotional opportunity.