Today is a day to honour all women and acknowledge their battle for the most basic of rights: to live in an egalitarian world that is free of gender discrimination.
Today is an important day — International Women’s Day. Today is a day to honour all women and acknowledge their battle for the most basic of rights: to live in an egalitarian world that is free of gender discrimination. But it is also so much more.
The United Nations officially began recognizing and celebrating achievements by women on March 8, 44 years ago. As reported on the UN website, the day “has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike.” This year, the theme for advancing equality and empowerment is think equal, build smart, innovate for change, “particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure” (un.org). This message, however, is not intended to be heard only one day a year; rather, it is an ongoing worldwide campaign to raise awareness and accelerate change.
Similarly, every single day, libraries actively promote the importance of and practice the necessity for equality, ingenuity and innovation. Libraries are safe inclusive places that all demographics of the public count on for personal resources, community programs, and reliable services during times of both adversity and prosperity.
Libraries also offer an abundance of physical and digital collection items that provide opportunities for life-long learning while helping people make sense of a world that is, or at least seems to be, constantly changing. Be it a classic movie on DVD or non-fiction eBook, online documentary or new paperback, there is something for everyone on just about any topic.
For example, currently on display for International Women’s Day there is a variety of formats and genres including: books (Rachel Cooke’s Her Brilliant Career – Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties and Malalai Joya’s Woman Among Warlords); audiobooks (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein); graphic novels (Patti LaBoucane-Beson’s The Outside Circle and Beldan Sezen’s Snapshots of, A Girl); poetry (Margaret Atwood’s Power Politics and Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman); DVDs (Lucy Maude Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and Johanna Spyri’s Heidi); CDs (Bette Midler’s Some People’s Lives and Lady Gaga’s Artpop); magazines (Country Woman and Living); and handouts (International Women’s Day Activity Challenge and Female Gender Stereotypes Fact Sheet) … to name only a few of what is available to anyone to use in-house and library card-holders to take home.
What will you do today to celebrate women’s achievements? Libraries in your community and across the world invite you to take part in the United Nation’s celebration of “a future in which innovation and technology creates unprecedented opportunities for women and girls to play an active role in building more inclusive systems, efficient services and sustainable infrastructure.”
And how will you do this? Visit your library and enquire about the collection items, resources, programs, and services that have been made possible by the ingenuity of women—either contemporary or historic, you will not be disappointed with what you discover. Actually, you should probably plan to stay awhile.