International Women's Day
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International Women's Day is a holiday set by the United Nations to commemorate the woman's rights and gender equality movement.
The first national women's day was held on February 28, 1910 by the Socialist Party of America. The day was set to honor the garment workers' strike in 1908. Two years later, at the Socialist International meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark proposed an international Women's Day, which received unanimous approval in 17 countries.
From 1913 to 1914, International Women's Day was used as a means of protest against World War I. March 8th was adopted as the date for rallies and expressions of solidarity.
In 1975, during the International Women's Year, the United Nations announced that they would begin celebrating International Women's Day, annually, on March 8th.
In December 1977, the UN Generally Assembly adopted a resolution "proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions."
On International Women's Day, people online discuss the event and its significance under the hashtag "IWD. On March 8th, 2018, the Nobel Prize tweeted a video of female Nobel Prize winners with the caption, "Happy International Women's Day! We're celebrating the women who have changed the world. Here's all of the amazing women who have received the #NobelPrize and their remarkable achievements at the time of the award. #IWD2018" The post (shown below) received more than 13,000 retweets and 15,000 likes in 24 hours.
Happy International Women's Day! We're celebrating the women who have changed the world.— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) March 8, 2018
Here's all of the amazing women who have received the #NobelPrize and their remarkable achievements at the time of the award. #IWD2018 pic.twitter.com/isKJHSGjsj
International Women's Day 2019
March 8th, 2019, marked the 109th annual International Women's Day. That morning, President Donald Trump tweeted "On International Women’s Day, we honor women worldwide for their vital role in shaping and strengthening our communities, families, governments, and businesses…" and he continued on to list all of the things his administration has done for women. The tweet gained 5,300 retweets and 21,300 likes that day (shown below, left). Former President Barack Obama sent out a series of tweets staring with "On International Women’s Day, I’m reflecting on the future we all want for our daughters: one where they can live out their aspirations without limits. And I’m celebrating some of the women who are building that future for all of us today" (shown below, right). His tweet gained 22,420 retweets and 94,437 that day.
Barack Obama continued to salute three women, Preethi Herman (head of the Change.org Foundation), Alice Barbe (for helping refugees in France), and Sefora Kodjo (Leader of an organization that mentors young women in Africa) (shown below).
Russian Leader Vladimir Putin released a statement on Kremlin that included:
"Reaching success is in the nature of our women. You manage to do everything, both at work and at home. And you remain beautiful, brilliant, charming, the centre of gravity inside the family that knows how to inspire and support, warm and comfort. It is your fate to walk the whole path of creating a new life – giving birth to a child. This great happiness of motherhood, raising children transforms the world, fills it with kindness, tenderness and mercy, reaffirms the traditional values that have always been Russia’s strength."
That morning GallupNews posted a poll to Twitter regarding "the question of whether women are treated with respect and dignity" around the world (shown below).
The Twitter account @AboutHerOFCL announced that "the theme for #IWD2019 is #BalanceforBetter, a call-to-action for speeding up gender balance in business, politics, media coverage and wealth across the world" (shown below, left). The hashtag #balanceforbetter was used in over 230,000 tweets by the end of the morning. AJ+ used the hashtag to tweet pictures of women's rights marches from Kenya, South Korea, India and the Philippines (shown below, right). The post gained 289 retweets and 581 likes that morning.
The Guardian reported that "Spanish women are taking part in a nationwide strike and there will be 1,400 rallies across the country to mark International Women’s Day." NPR also reported that Berlin is celebrating its first International Women's Day after parliament approved the change in January.
McDonald's Flips Arch
On March 6th, 2018, a McDonald's in Lynwood, California turned its golden-arches upside down, turning the golden "M" into a golden "W." The company says that the change (shown below) was in "celebration of women everywhere."
People on Twitter reacted negatively to the change. The following day, Twitter user @truebe tweeted, "McDonalds: In celebration of women we are flipping the arches upside down. / Or you could give your employees better benefits. / McD: Look it's a W! / Maybe a living wage? Better family leave? A career path forward in the face of automation? / McD: The W stands for women." The post (shown below, left) received more than 33,000 retweets and 144,000 likes in 24 hours.
Others enjoyed the message. Twitter user @RachelMaree27 tweeted "WOW! This is so awesome!! Thank you, McDonalds!" The post (shown below, center) received more than 120 retweets and 780 likes in 24 hours.
Some made parodies of the change. Twitter user @vrunt photoshopped the video game character Wario into the photograph. The post (shown below, right) received more than 6,200 retweets and 24,000 likes in 24 hours.
KFC's Claudia Sanders
On March 8th, the KFC in Malaysia announced that they would be replacing Colonel Sanders with the image of his wife, Claudia Sanders, for the day in honor of International Women's Day (shown below).
On the KFC website, the company wrote:
"It is hard to imagine but KFC would not be where it is today if not for Claudia, wife of Colonel Sanders. While the Colonel created the secret recipe and ran the company, Mrs Sanders mixed and even shipped the spices to restaurants across the country – often late into the night. This International Women's Day, we pay tribute to Claudia Sanders for her role in the making of Malaysia's favourite fried chicken. And to every woman whose ideas, hard work and passion contribute to making the world a better place. Thank you."
Online, people reacted cynically to the promotion. Twitter user @broderick tweeted (shown below, right), "Sexism is over." Twitter user @rey_z tweeted (shown below, center), "KFC…….thankyou for your service to women." Twitter user @TheDweck tweeted, "Appreciate all the equal rights efforts, but between Lady Doritos, female Colonel Sanders and the McDonald’s W, I think we’re all set!!"
International Men's Day
In 1968, an American journalist named John P. Harris published an editorial calling for a day that celebrated the male workers in the Soviet Union. He wrote that the lack of an International Men's Day was a flaw in the Communist system.
As of 2003, IMD has been held annually on November 19th.In November 2009, Dr. Teelucksing established the six pillars of International Men's Day. They are:
* To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but everyday, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
* To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
* To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
* To highlight discrimination against males; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law.
* To improve gender relations and promote gender equality.
* To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.
However, in years since, "International Men's Day" has been used to troll the main holiday, with men who feel slighted by International Women's Day and unaware of IMD's existence asking, "What about International Men's Day?"
On March 8th, 2018, journalist Parker Molloy tweeted, "Google searches for 'International Men’s Day' are higher on International Women’s Day than they are *on* International Men’s Day. (Those spikes are March of each year)." The tweet (shown below) received more than 880 retweets and 1,400 likes in 24 hours.
Barbie "Role Models" Campaign
On March 6th, 2018, the official Barbie Twitter account tweeted a video of their new "Role Models" campaign, which is comprised of dolls based on famous and inspirations women. They captioned the post "In honor of #InternationalWomensDay, we are committed to shining a light on empowering female role models past and present in an effort to inspire more girls. Join the conversation by sharing your role models using #MoreRoleModels." The post (shown below) received more than 3,600 retweets and 7,300 likes in three days.
In honor of #InternationalWomensDay, we are committed to shining a light on empowering female role models past and present in an effort to inspire more girls.— Barbie (@Barbie) March 6, 2018
Join the conversation by sharing your role models using #MoreRoleModels. pic.twitter.com/5oJnZywk7s
The dolls included such women as Olympian Chloe Kim, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, feminist Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and NASA physicist Katherine Johnson.
However, despite the company's intentions, many were quick to note how little the dolls looked like their inspiration. Twitter user @thotsoraymond tweeted about the Frida Kahlo Barbie, "this is a mess a) its ableist, she was a disabled womxn and yall are erasing that critical part of her b) yall are adhering to western beauty standards by getting rid of her unibrow c) she was a communist, the fact ur turning her into some mass produced commodity is appalling." The tweet (shown below, left) received more than 43,000 retweets and 127,000 likes in two days.
Twitter user @VoidJumpingJB tweeted, "Beyond the unibrow she literally darkened all parts of her facial hair because she wanted everyone to see it, and joked about yt people and their faces "like unbaked bread". She hated the white aesthetic. Like, a lot." The tweet (shown below, center) received more than 50 retweets and 520 likes in 48 hours. Twitter user @dianaerae tweeted about Frida's missing eyebrow as well (shown below, right).
Several media outlets covered the backlash to the dolls, including The Daily Dot,  Fast Company and more.
 UN – International Women's Day History
 Business Insider – McDonald's is flipping its iconic arches upside down in an unprecedented statement
 Twitter – @truebe's Tweet
 Twitter – @RachelMaree27's Tweet
 Twitter – @vrunt's Tweet
 International Men's Day – About
 Twitter – @ParkerMalloy's Tweet
 KFC – Meet the 12th ingredient to the Colonel's 11 secret herbs and spices.
 Twitter – @broderick's Tweet
 Twitter – @rey_z's Tweet
 Twitter – @TheDweck's Tweet
 Twitter – @Barbie's Tweet
 Twitter – @thotsraymond's Tweet
 Twitter – @VoidJumpingJB's Tweet
 Twitter – @dianaeranae's Tweet
 The Daily Dot – Barbie’s new ‘boundary-breaking’ female leader dolls aren’t breaking any boundaries
 Fast Company – Mattel is in hot water over its new Frida Kahlo Barbie doll
 NPR – Berlin Marks International Womens Day as Holiday
 Twitter – Donald Trump
 Twitter – Barack Obama":https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/1104011361099624448?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1104011361099624448&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fmashable.com%2Farticle%2Fbarack-obama-donald-trump-international-womens-day-tweets%2F
 Twitter – GallupNews
 The Gaurdian – live coverage
 Kremlin – International Women's Day
 Twitter – AboutHerOFCL
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