By: CJ Ramsaran

Today marks the centenary (1911-2011) of International Women’s Day!

Since the early 1900’s, women the world over have faced oppression, received unfair treatment in their communities, business; and society as a whole.

Women had a voice, however, sadly to say their voices fell on deaf ears.  Their idealism was scorned, and they simply were not heard.

A movement started in 1908 in the City of New York.  Women marched through the streets, protesting and vocalizing their views for the right to vote, the right to be paid fairly for work which they performed, as well as the right for shorter; more humane works hours.

This march led to the birth of the first National Women’s Day; observed the following year on February 28, 1909.

In 1910 at the International Conference of working Women held in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin (Leader of the Women’s Office – Social Democratic Party, Germany) proposed the idea of celebrating a “Women’s Day”.

Zetkin’s proposal was to have this day recognized and celebrated annually at an international level.  A unanimous decision was reached at the conference, amongst the 100 plus women in attendance; leading to the undeniable birth of International Women’s Day in 1911.

On March 19, 1911, International Women’s Day was observed for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany. Russia followed shortly with their first observance in 1913.

Women’s struggles and adversities have been vast over the past century.  They have overcome many obstacles; won many battles; yet there are many more to tackle along the way.

Today as you go about your hectic day, stop and take time to reflect upon all the challenges and successes women have surmounted over the past hundred years both in their personal and professional lives.

Also take the time to pay a special homage to all the wonderful women whom have impacted your lives; whom have given you strength and encouraged you along the way.

May they never be forgotten!