Did anyone else realise it was International Women’s Day today?
I didn’t until I overheard a rumble from my female colleagues about not having to make tea today or go out on the milk run
"It’s women’s day”, I heard, followed by demands to be treated with a hearty extra dose of deference.
This was met by a flurry of chuckles and “yeah right”s, with the odd “go and put the kettle on” thrown in for good measure.
As I was gearing up to launch into a speech backing the fairer element of the workplace, a voice in my head piped up - women’s day??? - is that not the very epitome of sexism?
My support quickly turned into a niggle about it not being fair we have a Women’s Day but no Men’s Day, and that it was indeed time the kettle went on.
However, in a rare moment of restraint, I took my mouth out of gear and typed “men’s day?” into Google to double check before launching into a rant.
It's lucky I did because there is in fact an International Men’s Day - November 19 - my rant opportunity vanished with the click of the mouse.
That’s not such a bad thing though, as it meant I could settle down and in good spirit wish all the women of the world a Happy Day.
It is good to sometimes to have an occasion to wish others well not for any specific purpose other than it is simply a nice thing to do.
So Happy Women’s Day again, and here are some interesting facts about it:
The first national Women’s Day was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States.
In the West, International Women’s Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977.
The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty.
In many countries, International Women’s Day is an occasion to honour and praise women for their accomplishments.
It is an official holiday in many countries including Cuba, Nepal and Cambodia.
Tower Hamlets Council once closed off one of its libraries to all males to “celebrate” the occasion, even banning male staff - this didn't go down well.