Let’s Make a Splash – It’s International Women’s Day.

I feel fabulous when I hear the water side buzz of chatter and laughter as a team of woman gathered together de-robe and descend into the water, supporting and encouraging each other, solving the world’s problems and making great friends.

We have so much to thank for the social impact and health benefits of dipping into the wild and cold waters, and the fact that we can do this without condemnation or legal implications.

How far we have come since the turn of the century!

What a great idea it was to create this special day – celebrating the powerful, compassionate, caring, motherly, strong and tenacious qualities women.

So, who do we have to thank for the recognition?

Clara Zetkin, a communist activist and advocate for women’s rights, suggested the creation of an international day. She put her idea to an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen in 1910 – and the 100 women there, from 17 countries, agreed to it unanimously.

The seeds were planted in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. A year later, the Socialist Party of America declared the first National Woman’s Day.

International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Things were made official in 1975 when the United Nations started celebrating the day. The first theme adopted (in 1996) was “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future”.

Clara’s idea for an International Women’s Day had no fixed date.

It wasn’t formalised until a wartime strike in 1917, when Russian women demanded “bread and peace”; four days into the strike the tsar was forced to abdicate, and the provisional government granted women the right to vote.

The strike began on 8 March, and this became the date that International Women’s Day is celebrated.

So, our menfolk don’t loose out there is an international Men’s Day – this is celebrated on 19th November. 80 countries including the UK celebrate our supporting partners. We’ll pop that onto the calendar.

There are many wonderful women who have achieved great things in the world of open water activities and who have paved the way for us to gain our own enjoyment in the watery wonderland. To keep the flow going across the year I challenge myself to recognise their prowess and tenacity by selecting one woman each month and reflect and share their achievements, so they live on in our minds eye.

Look out for the blog on Ethel ‘sunny’ Lowry

Viva la femme

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