Celebrate 100 years of International Women’s Day with a quick history and video. Blessings and Peace!
The first IWD was observed on 19 March 1911 in Germany following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. The idea of having an international women’s day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions.
In 1910, Second International held the first international women’s conference in Copenhagen. An ‘International Women’s Day’ was established. It was suggested by the important German Socialist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified. The following year, 1911, IWD was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, on 19 March. They demanded the right to vote to hold public office for women, as well as protested against employment sex discrimination.
In 1913 Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February (by Julian calendar then used in Russia). In 1917 demonstrations marking International Women’s Day in St.Petersburg on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar) initiated the February Revolution
In the West, International Women’s Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
“Women never benefit from bombs and bullets.” Rethink Afghanistan
I offer two resources today – a link to a video that examines what is happening to women in Afghanistan and a list of facts about Afghanistan that was created by justice promoters in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana.
The situation for women in Afghanistan makes the upcoming International Women’s Day all the more poignant and important. Women in Afghanistan have been used by the U.S. administration to point to the “success” of the invasion. Women were liberated when U.S. troops entered and now hold positions as members of parliament, teachers, etc.
The facts are that women face as much if not more violence and violation of their human rights as when they were under the Taliban. Liberation does not come at the end of a gun – whether that gun is held by a Taliban fighter or a U.S. soldier.
Take a moment to honor International Women’s Day and learn about the women of Afghanistan. Then remind your Representatives and Senators that you will not support further funding for this war because “women never benefit from bombs and bullets.” And the truth is no one person or part of creation does either…
Afghanistan – Did You Know…?
- To date, $1.05 trillion dollars have been allocated to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
($747.3 billion to Iraq and $299 billion to Afghanistan.)These appropriations do not include funds to support the “surge” of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan announced by the Obama administration on December 1, 2009. Conservative estimates suggest the surge will cost approximately $30 billion and we anticipate supplemental appropriations for this later in the year. Source: http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home
- Currently only a fraction of US development assistance in Afghanistan goes to meet basic human needs and help the economy develop. Much of the economic benefit of foreign development assistance is lost to Afghanistan because only 31% is spent on local goods and services and much of it leaves the country in the form of foreign contracts and salaries. Source: http://www.nationalpriorities.org/auxiliary/costofwar/cost_of_war_afghanistan.pdf
- Afghanistan is home to more than a dozen ethnic groups; Pashtun and Tajik, the two largest, together make up over half the population. Both peoples are from Mediterranean stock and practice Sunni Islam. Most Taliban are Pashtun and most Northern Alliance fighters are Tajik. Source: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0206/feature4/
- The average life expectancy in Afghanistan is 44 years. Source: http://www.nationalpriorities.org/auxiliary/costofwar/cost_of_war_afghanistan.pdf
- Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid, agriculture, and trade with neighboring countries. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html#People
- Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium. the Taliban and other antigovernment groups participate in and profit from the opiate trade, which is a key source of revenue for the Taliban inside Afghanistan; widespread corruption and instability impede counterdrug efforts Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html#People
- In response to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and part of its overall Cold War strategy, the United States responded by arming and otherwise supporting the Afghan mujahideen, which had taken up arms against the Soviet occupiers. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghanistan
- In 2002 there were approximately 5,200 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. There are roughly 62,000 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan. This number is expected to grow to at least 68,000 by year’s end. Source: http://www.nationalpriorities.org/newsletter/2009/12/01/Afghanistan-fact-sheet-numbers-behind-troop-increase