international women's day

Today is International Women's Day.

For some excellent reading about the state of women's human's rights, check out Equality Now. Their focus has been on trafficking, sex tourism and genital mutilation, and they epitomize the activist credo to "think globally, act locally".

All over the world, in countless ways, it has been shown that the key to development and the elimination of poverty is greater gender equality. The education of girls and women is the single biggest factor in lowering birth rates and all the good that follows.

International Women's Day has its roots in socialism. Though it's hardly a radical event now, IWD sprang from such radical ideas as equal pay for women, universal suffrage, equal educational opportunities, and the right to control one's earnings and property. It's always worth remembering that those were once radical, incendiary ideas. In some places on the planet, they still are. And that's why the struggle continues.

For a history of IWD, go here, and for another international perspective, try this Australian writer.

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