International Women's Day 2012: History, Theme, Groupon's Joke
2012 International Women's Day 2012 Theme
"Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures" is the 2012 theme of the internationalwomensday.com website and this has been widely used by hundreds of organisations including schools, universities, governments, women’s groups and the private sector. Each year the United Nations declares an overall International Women's Day theme. Their 2012 theme is “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty”. Many organisations develop their own themes that are more relevant to their local contexts. For example, the European Parliament's 2012 theme is "Equal pay for work of equal value".
History of International Women's Day and its Themes
International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.
In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
In 1910, a woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result.
Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women's Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March.
In 1913 following discussions, International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen's Day ever since.
1975 was designated as 'International Women's Year' by the United Nations. Women's organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women's advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women's equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.
IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
Previous International Women's Day Themes
- 2012: Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty
- 2011: Equal access to education, training and science and technology
- 2010: Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all
- 2009: Women and men united to end violence against women and girls
- 2008: Investing in Women and Girls
- 2007: Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls
- 2006: Women in decision-making
- 2005: Gender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a More Secure Future
- 2004: Women and HIV/AIDS
- 2003: Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals
- 2002: Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities
- 2001: Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts
- 2000: Women Uniting for Peace
- 1999: World Free of Violence against Women
- 1998: Women and Human Rights
- 1997: Women at the Peace Table
- 1996: Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future
- 1975: First IWD celebrated by the United Nations
Groupon's Sexist International Women's Day Prank
An email sent out to Groupon customers in Canada on Thursday had “International Women’s Day” as its subject. It offered deals on items such as weight-loss pants and a vibrating fitness platform. The Dutch version of the site, meanwhile, appears to be offering a deal on mops.
It’s supposed to be a joke, but many Twitter users don’t find it funny:
“Groupon just offered me weight-loss pants and IPL treatment vouchers for International Women's Day. You're so considerate, Groupon,” Lana Polansky commented.
“Did @groupon seriously just use International Women's Day to sell weight loss products? Shameful!” drunkgirlTO wrote.
“upset that 4 women's day Groupon is offering me weight loss programs. Shouldn't women's day be about embracing women as they are? #iamwoman,” tweeted Steph Sirois.
Other tweeters called the deals “disgusting” and “unbelievable” referring to the Dutch mop deal, lilywanderlust tweeted “how tacky!”