'Inspiring change' is the theme for International Women's Day 2014

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'Inspiring change' is the theme for International Women's Day 2014

by Katherine Quiles on Monday, March 3, 2014 - 6:00am

International Women’s Day serves as a reminder of both the struggles and successes of women all around the world. Celebrated on March 8, the holiday has been observed since early 1900.

The official Women’s Day theme for 2014 is “Inspiring change.” Here at the Clayman Institute we share developments in gender research with the public in hopes of inspiring change. Research has the incredible power to advance gender equality by influencing both policy and public opinion.

Among our many Gender News articles about international women’s issues, here are three of our favorites. From education in India to “Gendered Innovations” case studies around the world, we think these pieces share important research insights for International Women’s Day.

The legal system as a tool to protect women's rights

Helen Stacy, scholar of international and comparative law, proposes an entirely new approach to addressing the human rights violations specific to women. Many organizations working in foreign countries, including the United Nations, find their efforts falling flat. This is because they do not have sufficient knowledge about tradition, local culture, national beliefs about freedom, and innate bureaucracies. The solution? Stacy advocates using "local and regional courts to articulate rights."  Regional courts, she explains, can bridge the gap between international courts and national governments by applying unique historical backgrounds while simultaneously avoiding the looming imperialistic threat often associated with international courts. Read more >>

Schooling in rural India

Research from Professor Amita Chudgar examines the relationship between children’s educational outcomes and the gender of the household head in India, where girls still receive less education than boys, particularly in rural regions. For development agencies seeking to enhance all children’s school enrollment in rural India, the answer may in part lie in providing economic support for widows and female household heads with children. Read more >>

Woman mapping waterGendered Innovations

Another illustration of the influence of gender research is the passing of this UN resolution supporting women's training in science and technology, only months after Londa Schiebinger’s work “Gendered Innovations” was presented to the UN meeting on Gender, Science and Technology. Using her framework, experts from around the world discussed policy for achieving equality in STEM fields. One example of how these “gendered innovations” have impacts on technology is water infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa. Because water fetching is women’s work, women have detailed knowledge of soil and water yields. It turns out this knowledge is vital to civil engineering and development projects in determining where to build infrastructure. Schiebinger’s research shows how tapping into local women’s knowledge improved the efficiency of water projects. Read more>>

Upcoming events to inspire change

Mark your calendars for these events related to International Women’s Day:

March 3rd 

Yoni Ki Baat, A South Asian Take on the Vagina Monologues: Yoni Ki Baat or "Talks of the Vagina" is a live performance of monologues by women of South Asian origin. Inspired by Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues, and conceptualized in 2003 by South Asian Sisters, a women's collective, it reflects the gender experience of the South Asian Diaspora.

March 4th-10th 

Women's Community Center International Women's Week: The Stanford Women's Community Center has an entire week of events planned for International Women's Week.

March 5th 

Girl Rising: Screening and Discussion: From Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins, Girl Rising journeys around the globe to witness the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world.

March 8th

Voices Global Mentoring Walk San Francisco: In celebration of International Women’s Day, Vital Voices, with the support of Bank of America, will host Global Mentoring Walks in more than 30 countries on the same day and, for the first time, in three major U.S. cities: San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC. This international celebration aims to create an environment for collaboration and networking among emerging and established women leaders in their own communities.

Women as Catalysts for Change conference: The Women as Catalysts of Change conference will raise money for Samasource in honor of International Women's Day. A thought-provoking, highly interactive day of networking, dining and learning with eight influential women leaders sharing insights and best practices on "How Women Lead" and "How Far We've Come & The Road Ahead." 

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For the entire week leading up to International Women’s Day we will be celebrating the change we wish to inspire. Look out for posts from us all week on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!  

Katherine Quiles

Katherine Quiles is a sophomore at Stanford University. Here at Clayman Katherine works on Gender News and social media. She is currently undeclared but is planning on majoring in Sociology with a minor in Human Biology and a secondary major in Feminst Studies.