The month of March brings in the official start of spring, St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, baseball season and so many more observances that I was surprised to see the long list. Who knew? But one specific day to highlight is Tuesday, March 8 — International Women’s Day. Yes, international. In researching how widespread this holiday is, I was able to determine that it’s an “official” holiday in 27 countries, but observed in many, many more.
So, what exactly is International Women’s Day? It actually has quite a bit of history, having been around since the early 1900s when women protested for equal rights. America created a National Woman’s Day way back in 1909, and shortly thereafter a proposal changed it into an international holiday. Since 1913, March 8 has remained the global date for the observance.
In the countries where it is widely recognized, it’s common to see women honored by men with flowers and small gifts, much like what children offer during Mother’s Day celebrations. Additionally, events worldwide celebrate the achievements of women, and global corporations actively support the holiday through events. The United States now designates the entire month of March as “Women’s History Month.”
With China being one of the “official holiday” countries, there will be a special event held right here in Beijing to commemorate the occasion. On Friday, March 11 from 7.30-10pm, the International Women’s Day Beijing Organization will host their 6th annual charity benefit. Focused on the theme “Mentoring Future Women Leaders,” all proceeds benefit the China Education Initiative. The event costs RMB 200, and more information can be found by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 6581 9058.
I also noticed that the Grand Millennium Beijing in the CBD is honoring women on March 8. For every table with at least four ladies, guests will receive a 25% discount during lunch or dinner buffets. Call 6530 9383. And Tai Tai at the Chen Hao furniture store in Shunyi will have a special gift for all purchases over RMB 500 that day.
If you know of other special offers honoring women during this time, please post a comment to this blog and share with others. The women in your life will appreciate the special recognition! Learn more about this fascinating history and the amazing developments over the years by visiting the official website, www.internationalwomensday.com. And Happy International Women’s Day to all you wonderful women out there!