March 9th is International Women’s Day. You probably have never heard about this holiday, but it has which has been observed around the world since the early 1900’s. International Women’s Day, or IWD, serves a pretty important purpose for gender equality at home and abroad. According to Gloria Steinem, “the story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” That is the goal of IWD. No organization or individual owns it the IWD, however, it’s message lives in anyone who is passionate about changing the course of history.
People all around the world have different ways of honoring International Women’s Day. One tradition comes to us all the way from Lithuania, where the local police officers pull over women to give them flowers!
For several years, police officers in Lithuania have been celebrating International Women’s Day in this very special way!
They pull them over in traffic.
Instead of handing them a ticket through the window, they hand them a flower.
Imagine thinking you’re about to receive a ticket, only to be greeted with a beautiful flower and a “thank you” from a police officer.
People have criticized the act for being sexist, but we don’t see it that way.
Instead, we see it as a token of appreciation. A way of saying thank you for everything women have done throughout history and everything they have to put up with today.
Our world is full of violence and abuse towards women, with some viewing them more as objects than human beings. In the midst of all this abuse, women have managed to thrive. They stand today as beacons of love, strength, and courage in the face of adversity.
Women: Thank you for fighting for the right to vote. Thank you for discovering radioactivity. Thank you for refusing to give up your seat. Thank you for crossing the Atlantic. Thank you for programming computers.
If a flower, isn’t a symbol of gratitude and celebration, then we don’t know what is.
Happy International Women’s Day.
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