Today is International Women’s Day, and across the globe women are being celebrated. From social, political and cultural achievements, the day marks a commemoration of women’s successes, and is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of women’s equality and fundraising for women-focused charities.
The origins of International Women’s Day can be traced back to 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. The following year, The Socialist Party of America announced the first National Women’s Day in honour of these workers. And the day was formalised in 1910 when Clara Zetkin – a leader of the ‘women’s office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany – coined the idea of an International Women’s Day.
The official theme for IWD 2022 is #BreakTheBias – which promotes the imagining of a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.
Beyond being the stars of movie blockbusters, there are a number of women who have stood out as symbols of feminism and devoted themselves to other causes – and in the process have not only made significant contributions in their work, but they’ve inspired other women worldwide.
Ben W. Heineman Jr. and Cristine Russell wrote in The Atlantic that her role in Giant, 1956 "dismantled stereotypes about women and minorities."And it was in this film that she formed a close friendship with co-star Rock Hudson. They grew even closer in the final months of Hudson’s life after he was diagnosed with AIDS – a time when little was known about the disease. After Hudson died, Taylor decided to step in. For the rest of her life, she devoted herself to raise awareness and money for AIDS research and care, co-founding amfAR in 1985. She was instrumental in getting powerful figures to take the right action. She persuaded President Ronald Reagan to acknowledge the disease in a speech for the first time in 1987, and she publicly criticized presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton for lack of interest in combatting the disease. She also founded the Elizabeth Taylor foundation in 1991. When the influential movie icon died, she made sure her foundation would thrive. Twenty-five percent of her image rights go to the foundation, so whenever you buy something with her face on it, you’re supporting her cause.