International Women’s Day began with a movement of working class women in New York City who marched through New York in 1908 demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights, together with the first National Women’s Day held on February 28 1909. Each year has a theme and this year’s theme is #EachforEqual, knowing equality together with participants invited to actively decide to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, enhance scenarios and celebrate women’s achievements”. Vivienne Hayes, chief executive of the Women’s Resource Centre, said in a statement that this use of International Women’s Day by companies is now part of the co-option of feminism and women’s equality into a far more mainstream place, which has caused the corporatization of the advancement of women’s rights. There is a threat that Women’s day becomes a occasion a bit like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day rather than giving visibility to the effect that women are making around the planet.
Hayes is also a major figure in the Million Women Rise march, for which thousands of women will visit central London on Saturday to protest against violence against women and women. All members are volunteers and the occasion, in its 13th year even though it doesn’t have any corporate sponsorship or formal financing from any Company or Organization. It’s strictly a women just march and if a man wants to participate, they are asked to babysit children while your mother, partner, sister, daughter, or friend attends the march”. Back in London by Care-International another march is organised Women’s day in which stars out of stage and screen marching shoulder-to-shoulder with grassroots campaigners for gender equality and climate justice”. In recent years McDonald’s was accused of”McFeminism”, as it turned into the business’s emblem of gold arches upside down to form the letter W to signify Women, while the beer brewing firm Brewdog was accused of cynical marketing after releasing a pink colored beer around International Women’s Day, supposedly to raise awareness about gender pay inequality and sexist advertising. If brands would be to jump on the springboard they then should also open their extensive wallets mentioned Katie Russell of Rape crisis, England and Wales a network of independent Rape Crisis Centre, who is on a fire walk before International Women’s Day to raise funds for Support after rape and sexual violence Leeds.
International Women’s Day is just around the corner according to feminists women’s day is in danger of becoming little more than the usual corporate Mother’s Day, with companies jumping on the springboard to whitewash their products instead of endorse women’s equality. With brands offering offers and discounts on International Women’s Day products out of pretty roses to hipster T-shirts inscribed with slogans like”Woman Up”, equivalent rights campaigners have called on these companies to take actions and donate to grassroots level causes on this International Women’s Day, which occurs on Sunday 8 March, rather than using it as a promotional opportunity.