Your Views for March 2

Celebrating women

The Hawaii Island Chapter of the United Nations Association-USA is celebrating International Women’s Day.

It was first observed in 1909 in New York, more than a decade before women in the United States got the vote in 1920.

In 1910, at the International Women’s Conference in Copenhagen, March 8 was decided upon as the permanent day to celebrate women’s achievements. As we approach the centennial of women achieving the vote in the U.S., the United Nations Association-USA, along with many local women’s organizations, gear up to mark this anniversary.

The Hawaii Island chapter collaborates with women’s organizations such as ZONTA and the American Association of University Women to honor the contributions of women. Collaboration is one of the main values that helped the suffragettes achieve the vote, as well as achieve other milestones for and by women.

It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year, we especially celebrate actions that have moved us toward gender parity. The theme for International Women’s Day is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.” The theme highlights empowering women in all settings, rural and urban.

According to the website, “when women participate fully in the labour force, it creates opportunities and generates growth. Closing the gender gap in employment could add $12 trillion to global GDP by 2025.”

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres declares: “Women’s rights are human rights. But in these troubled times, as our world becomes more unpredictable and chaotic, the rights of women and girls are being reduced, restricted and reversed.”

Our Hawaii Island chapter invites all citizens to help close the gender gap in health, education, the economy and politics as we observe International Women’s Day on March 8.

And don’t miss the Women’s Day display at the Hilo Public Library this month.

Margaret Drake

Secretary, Board of the United Nations Association-USA

Hawaii Island Chapter