Today marks the day that people across the world, celebrate international women’s day for their social, economic, cultural as well as political achievements. As a public holiday in several countries, and a cultural observation in others, we wrote this blog to further highlight its significance, touch on its history and show you how we celebrate the inspirational Moroccan women leaders!
History of International women’s day
The seeds for National Women’s Day were first planted in 1908, in New York City as 15 000 women marched through the city demanding shorter working hours, better pay, and the right to vote. A year later, the first National Women’s Day was declared. First celebrated in 1975, the United Nations assigned March 8th as an official UN holiday for women’s rights and world peace.
Each year, the iwd (international women’s day ) draws attention to a particular theme, handling social issues, raising awareness as well as celebrating women’s achievements.
For the 111th international women’s day, this year’s theme is gender equality today, for a sustainable tomorrow, using the hashtag #breakthebias
Why is celebrating Women's Day important?
This day is important because it’s a reminder to champion and celebrate great women at all levels. It’s still a relevant celebration because although, there has been a massive improvement when it comes to representation and gender gaps. The reality is, women are still being marginalised in many parts of the world, with fewer women in leadership positions, higher poverty rates among women, and a lack of secondary education for young girls in developing countries.
There’s still a long way to go for women’s representation, but we ‘re dedicating the 8th of march for all the women, sitting next to you on the bus, the ones making our artisanal products, and most importantly, the ones reading these words, right now!
Here's our selection for women's handbags for women's day, created by our talented artisan women:
How do we celebrate Women’s Day?
As International women’s day is celebrated, in much of the world, it is customary to give female colleagues and loved oneS flowers and small gifts.
We choose to dedicate this day to :
- Recognise and Learn about inspirational Moroccan women leaders:
Fatima al fihriyya
This Moroccan women leader is the founder of the world’s oldest university. You heard that right!
Fatima al-Fihriyya was a strong believer. When she inherited a huge amount of money at the time her father and her husband died, she decided to use it to build a mosque that her Muslim community in Fez urgently needed, large enough to fit an ever-growing number of believers. The same mosque developed into the famous al-Qarawiyyin university. Today it is recognized as the oldest existing university in the world.
Does the painting look familiar to you?
Chaïbia Talal is known to be one the most famous Moroccan painters of the 20th century, known for her brightly colored, stylized paintings of women. She began painting in 1963, and in 1965 her son, Hossein, also a painter, invited the French art critic Pierre Gaudibert to their home. Impressed with her work, by the following year Tala had solo shows at the Goethe-Institut in Casablanca, the Solstice Gallery in Paris, and the Salon des Surindépendants in the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, and quickly become internationally known for her painting.
Nawal al moutawakil
Nawal al moutawakil made history in 1984 when she became the first Moroccan, African and Muslim woman to win an Olympic gold medal. Her Olympic achievement was the breakthrough that gave Moroccan women much-needed belief in themselves and the courage to take up the sport and earned her instant recognition in Morocco and internationally.
Aïcha Chenna nicknamed “the Moroccan mother Theressa “ is an emblematic figure of Moroccan activism for human rights and women’s rights. After working as a state nurse, activist Aïcha Chenna devoted her life to aiding single mothers and helping them become independent women. Starting ASF(female solidarity association), the goal of the association is to stand in solidarity with single mothers. The organization aims to help unmarried mothers stay united with their children and be able to be part of society.
Today she is remembered as a Moroccan women leader, for saving and empowering many Moroccan women and carrying them into fulfilling lives as single moms.
- Support local Moroccan female artisans:
Meet the woman behind the BeldySwag brand :
Who is the founder of Beldyswag?
After leaving her corporate job of 7 years, Zineb BENIOURI embarked on a new journey and finally created BELDYSWAG Brand. She found joy in creating clothes and jewelry whilst trying to spend time with her 4-year-old daughter in lockdown. That is when Zineb, had the epiphany that her passion truly lies within creating accessories and interior Moroccan decor items
She shows her admiration for Moroccan women, with one of her famous Collections #Zwinalrassek, a movement to empower women to love themselves and claim their inner beauty.
What is the goal of Beldyswag?
Zineb collaborates with artisans all across Morocco, creating authentic jewelry from Ait Melloul, bed linen from the skilled women of Essaouira to captivate the raw beauty of handmade products
"The ultimate goal of Beldy Swag is to encourage people to shop locally, choose handmade and support the Artisan community in these times of crisis," Said zineb. Today, Beldy Swag allows finding unique creations whilst supporting the local artisan women of Morocco.
Here’s a selection of our favorite Beldyswag products!