Like most English teachers, I relish the opportunity to recommend books to students. Only, for some students, browsing the library shelves feels like scouting out the enemy. They search for the least imposing, thinnest book on offer. I always enjoy shifting their perspectives - turning it into a hunt for hidden gems which will open up their minds, world view and ultimately help shape their sense of identity.
It began in 1910. Over one hundred women from seventeen different countries around the world agreed to meet in Copenhagen for what would be the second ever International Conference of Working Women. Numerous issues were discussed and debated, from universal suffrage to women’s pay. One woman, by the name of Clara Zetkin, brought forward the proposal for a global day for women, in which all women around the world should celebrate their contributions in unison, and push for their respective demands. The proposal was unanimously agreed upon. The next year, over one million men and women participated in rallies and campaigns to fight for “women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination”. International Women’s Day had begun.