Happy International Women’s Day, folks! While I can only remember hearing about it for the past couple of years, this day was created in 1909 as a national day in the US and went international in 1911. There’s all sorts of fun facts about this day on the official website, but my favourite one is that International Women’s Day is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.
I am mostly celebrating by listening to 6 Music, which seems to have dedicated its whole day of programming to International Women’s Day, but when I do find some time to read I’ll be continuing my way through Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Her birthday was 6 March and to celebrate I wrote a piece for the Redhead Reads micro newsletter. Aurora Leigh is an appropriate read for today not only because it was written by a woman but also because it’s about a woman trying to break free of the social constraints placed on her by her sex. And it’s really good.
This week we also celebrated World Book Day, which I fully intended to blog about on the day but then was feeling too sick to read, let alone write a coherent blog post. I did feel well enough to pick up a children’s book I bought myself last month – The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell. It’s a brilliant retelling of Sleeping Beauty and a gorgeous item to look at. And it’s a feminist retelling, which is pretty awesome.
Did you do anything for World Book Day? Are you celebrating International Women’s Day?