International Women’s Day (March 8) is observed each year to recognize the economic, political and social achievements of women. The celebratory day was founded in 1908 in New York City by women demanding better pay, shorter work hours and voting rights. Since then, International Women’s Day has spread globally and is commemorated with a different theme each year. Past themes have included Women and HIV/AIDS, Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals, and Women and Men United to End Violence against Women. The 2011 theme is Equal Access to Education, Training and Science and Technology.
On International Women’s Day, it is important to recognize our Peacemakers and the unique contributions they have made to their societies by employing faith as a tool for peace. These contributions have helped women who are working to end violent conflict to have their voices heard.