On January 21, 2017, the world saw a taste of the potential power women wield through nonviolent protest, a power that continues to be exerted as women come to realize the extent to which the agenda in Washington, D.C. does not reflect their interest.
This was not the first time women have instigated change through nonviolent revolt. In fact, this year is the 100th anniversary of the demonstration that brought down the Czarist Empire of Russia.
According to Wikipedia, "In 1917 demonstrations marking International Women's Day in Saint Petersburg on the last Thursday in February (which fell on March 8 on the Gregorian calendar) 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 czarism. Leon Trotsky wrote, "23 February (8th March) was International Woman's Day and meetings and actions were foreseen. But we did not imagine that this 'Women's Day' would inaugurate the revolution. Revolutionary actions were foreseen but without date. But in morning, despite the orders to the contrary, textile workers left their work in several factories and sent delegates to ask for support of the strike… which led to mass strike... all went out into the streets."
For all the women who think that there's no longer a need for International Women's Day, I'd like you to consider something: If an average woman and an average man with exactly the same skill started working at exactly the same job on January 1, 2016, the woman still, as of today, would not have been paid as much as the man had been paid as of the last day of December, 2016. Nope. In 2017, equal pay day is April 4, 2017.
Now, consider the photo below: That's what a woman did in her efforts to secure YOUR right to vote.
In my line of work, what we see is that abused women often lose custody of their children. (See https://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/dv.html )
On the positive side, women bring tremendous insight, value, and diverse approaches to governance and management. Countries and businesses that have more women in leadership DO BETTER than those without diversity. (See http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2015/12/08/companies_with_women_on_their_boards_do_better_and_not_just_because_they.html ).
My question for women and for the men who love them is, what will you do for the women who follow in YOUR footsteps? International Women's Day gives you one day during the year to think just a bit about that.