While Sun has been recognizing National Women's History Month for nearly a decade, four years ago, we also started to spread awareness of International Women's Day (IWD) during our March events.
IWD takes place on March 8 and started nearly 100 yrs ago in Europe. Employees at Sun from the Ukraine have told me that IWD is very much like Mothers Day in the US. But it recognizes all Women. Typically, women get time off from work on March 8 (which is a Saturday this year.) IWD is the
global day connecting all women around the world and inspiring
them to achieve their full potential. You can read all of the history online.
It's also a big flower day! I've been told that men are expected to give flowers to the women in their lives - not just their mothers - but to their sisters, wives, aunts, etc. In the past, we've given flowers to our local women employees in the Boston area. (We were able to do this with the help of our favorite local florist. Jody & Jill, owners of Fortin Gage, take very good care of the women from Sun who drop by their shop - that's why they get a special 'shout out' on this blog entry!)
I was surprised what a big impact that a single pink or red carnation could make. One employee told me that he emailed all of his relatives back in the Ukraine to tell them that Sun was celebrating IWD. He went on to tell me how much money he would spend on flowers for the women in his life 'back home' -- he seemed very proud of the IWD tradition in his country. (And he seemed proud to work for a company in the US that observed IWD)
So, why is it that we don't hear a lot about IWD in the US - especially as our economy becomes more global? I've been wondering about this since I first learned of this March 8 observance.
This morning, I was listening to my favorite morning show news personalities (Diane and Robin) and they mentioned IWD. I think we are going to see more awareness of this observance in the US because of their IWD story this morning that featured Diane von Furstenberg.
How are you going to observe IWD on Saturday, March 8? If you are looking for inspiration, there are activities all over the world taking place - perhaps one is near you!?!
(ps...if you are wondering about the flower picture on this entry, that's from my Garden 4 years ago - it's a gerber daisy that had a crushed blossom, and when the flower finally opened, a heart appeared - pretty cool, huh?)