What is the theme of Women’s Day 2023?
International Women’s Day 2023 Theme – International Women’s Day 2023: With the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” the United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day 2023 honours and celebrates the women and girls who are leading the way in the development of transformational technology and digital education.
What is the real date of Women’s Day?
The celebration spreads – After World War II, 8 March started to be celebrated in a number of countries. In 1975, during the International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating 8 March as International Women’s Day. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
Why do we celebrate Women’s Day on March 8?
|International Women’s Day|
|German poster for International Women’s Day, March 8, 1914. This poster was banned in the German Empire,|
|Next time||March 8, 2024|
|Related to||Mother’s Day, Children’s Day, International Men’s Day, International Non-Binary People’s Day|
International Women’s Day ( IWD ) is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 as a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women,
- Spurred on by the universal female suffrage movement, IWD originated from labor movements in North America and Europe during the early 20th century.
- The earliest version reported was a ” Women’s Day ” organized by the Socialist Party of America in New York City on February 28, 1909.
- This inspired German delegates at the 1910 International Socialist Women’s Conference to propose “a special Women’s Day” be organized annually, albeit with no set date; the following year saw the first demonstrations and commemorations of International Women’s Day across Europe.
After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917 (the beginning of the February Revolution ), IWD was made a national holiday on March 8; it was subsequently celebrated on that date by the socialist movement and communist countries, The holiday was associated with far-left movements and governments until its adoption by the global feminist movement in the late 1960s.
IWD became a mainstream global holiday following its adoption by the United Nations in 1977. International Women’s Day is commemorated in a variety of ways worldwide; it is a public holiday in several countries, and observed socially or locally in others to celebrate and promote the achievements of women.
The UN observes the holiday in connection with a particular issue, campaign, or theme in women’s rights. In some parts of the world, IWD still reflects its political origins, being marked by protests and calls for radical change; in other areas, particularly in the West, it is largely sociocultural and centered on a celebration of womanhood.
What are the colors for women’s Day?
– Ministry of Health & Social Development Social Development Release Date: Tuesday, 7 March 2023 – 2:19pm March 8 is being celebrated as International Women’s Day under the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. The theme this year aims to recognise and celebrate the contribution women and girls are making to technology and online education.
Is there a mens day?
2. ISN’T EVERY DAY INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY? – International Men’s Day is held annually on 19 November. It is an opportunity to celebrate men and boys in all their diversity. Many people also use the day to highlight some of the key social issues that men and boys around the world face. In Australia, these “men’s issues” include the fact that:
3 out of 4 suicides are men 2 out of 3 violent deaths are men Men die 6 years younger than women on average Boys underperform girls at every stage of education Dads who want to be more involved in their children’s lives face a range of barriers
Despite the overwhelming evidence that men and boys face a range of issues related to their physical, mental and social health and welling, many people still persist in promoting a range rigid gender stereotypes and clichés like:
“Man Up” “Boys don’t cry” “Men and boys don’t need help” and “Every day is International Men’s Day”
The fact is, every day isn’t International Men’s Day, only 19 November is International Men’s Day.
What is the slogan for Women’s Day 2023?
For International Women’s Day and beyond, let’s all fully #EmbraceEquity, Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA. And it’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality.
Is International Women’s Day for everyone?
#8. The day connects people from around the world – As the name says, International Women’s Day is about women from all around the world. IWD is a day to celebrate activists on a global level, raising awareness of their work and the challenges they face.
Do Americans celebrate women’s day?
Press Statement March 8, 2023 On International Women’s Day, the United States stands with the international community in celebrating the tenacity, determination, and leadership of women and girls around the world and the immense contributions and accomplishments they achieve toward more peaceful and democratic societies.
- The Department of State is committed to empowering and amplifying the voices of women and girls in all their diversity, and we will continue to demand that their human rights be respected.
- Today, I join First Lady Jill Biden in hosting the 17th annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards, as we honor 11 women leaders from around the world.
In their local communities and countries, the 2023 IWOC awardees are promoting the human rights of members of marginalized communities, protecting the rule of law, informing the public from the center of conflicts, and advancing women’s leadership and gender equality.
- The 2023 IWOC awardees join a cohort of more than 180 women, from more than 80 countries, who live their lives in the service of others – regardless of the personal risks and sacrifices – as International Women of Courage. The U.S.
- Commitment and work to advance gender equity and equality are not prioritized just today; it is our commitment every day.
We have strengthened and renewed our commitment to advancing the inclusion and the empowerment of women and girls as a strategic, moral, and human rights imperative. We know that by reinforcing gender equity and equality, countries strengthen their stability, prosperity, security, and democracy.
Working with our international and civil society partners, the United States recently announced numerous strategies and initiatives to advance this reality across the globe. For example, in November 2022, President Biden released the Presidential Memorandum on Promoting Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence,
In January, I launched the first-ever interagency U.S. Strategy on Global Women’s Economic Security, We also remain committed to doubling State and USAID foreign assistance investments that promote gender equality worldwide, to $2.6 billion in FY 2023, consistent with the President’s Budget Request.
What do you say on March 8?
Wishing you a very happy Women’s day. On the occasion of March 8, I wish you happiness, health, success and prosperity in the years ahead.
How did March 8 start?
From the National Archives EEO Special Emphasis Observances: March: National Women’s History Month “National Women’s History Month was established by presidential proclamation in order to draw attention to and improve the focus on women in historical studies.
It began in New York City on March 8, 1857, when female textile workers marched in protest of unfair working conditions and unequal rights for women. It was one of the first organized strikes by working women, during which they called for a shorter work day and decent wages. Also on March 8, in 1908, women workers in the needle trades marched through New York City’s Lower East Side to protest child labor, sweatshop working conditions, and demand women’s suffrage.
Beginning in 1910, March 8 became annually observed as International Women’s Day, Women’s History Week was instituted in 1978 in an effort to begin adding women’s history into educational curricula. In 1987, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to include all of March as a celebration of the economic, political and social contributions of women.” Note: Click on the image above for the PDF.
Why is purple the color of feminism?
On Election Day 2016 it was white, at the Emmys it was black, and on International Women’s Day, which lands on Thursday, March 8, it’ll be purple. Already a subscriber? Sign in
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Learn more about the subscription offers. Purple is the official color of International Women’s Day, founded more than a century ago after some 15,000 women marched in New York City to demand better working conditions and voting rights. The current iteration of the day is intended to celebrate women’s social, economic, and political achievements and to call for gender equality.
- And given the variety of ways different nations celebrate the day—from marches to cultural outings—there’s not an obvious wardrobe choice.
- The official International Women’s Day website, IWD.com, has you covered there.
- It explains why purple is International Women’s Day’s shade of choice: Internationally, purple is a color for symbolizing women.
Historically, the combination of purple, green and white to symbolize women’s equality originated from the Women’s Social and Political Union in the U.K. in 1908. Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolizes hope. White represents purity, but is no longer used due to ‘purity’ being a controversial concept.
The introduction of the color yellow representing a ‘new dawn’ is commonly used to signify a second wave of feminism. Thus purple with green represents traditional feminism, purple with yellow represents progressive contemporary feminism. In the past year and a half, women have relied on clothing color as symbol of protest.
It started in earnest with women wearing white on Election Day 2016 to pay homage to the historic nature of the contest, which saw Hillary Clinton run as the first female candidate from a major political party. Similar to U.K. history, white was an official color of the U.S.
suffrage movement that took place early last century. Clinton supporters, in particular, latched onto the #wearwhitetovote movement after the candidate appeared at the third and final presidential debate in an all-white pantsuit. (She also wore white to the final night of the Democratic National Convention.) Women have also relied on black in recent months as a nod to the #MeToo movement and as a statement against the abusive behavior of men.
Female film industry elite famously wore black to the Emmy Awards in early January, flooding the red carpet with dark ensembles in a sign of protest against Hollywood’s institutionalized sexism. Democratic women in Congress picked up on Hollywood’s cue, donning black for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech in late January in protest of sexual harassment.
If the choice of purple sounds familiar, it may be because Clinton wore a suit with a vibrant purple lapel as she gave her concession speech on November 9, 2016. Her husband Bill wore a matching purple tie. At the time, commentators suggested that the color was an acknowledgement of the shade’s ties to the suffrage movement or its significance in Methodist tradition as a sign of royalty and penitence, since Clinton is Methodist.
Clinton later revealed in her book What Happened that the purple suit was supposed to illustrate bipartisanship. She had planned to wear white in the event of an election win but “the white suit stayed in the garment bag,” she wrote. “The morning after the election, Bill and I both wore purple,” she wrote.
Why is purple for women’s Month?
According to color theory, colors emit different feelings and emotions in our everyday lives: white represents purity or cleanliness, red makes us think of danger or sacrifice, yellow makes us happy and green brings us back to nature and relaxes us. For many people, the colors you wear often become a part of your personality and means of self-expression.
- But when was the last time you stopped to think about their meaning? Symbolically, purple is a hue that has been used for centuries to represent wealth, nobility, luxury and power.
- It is also a color used throughout modern history to represent the fight for gender equality and International Women’s Day on March 8.
In the early 20th century, the women’s suffrage movement in Britain used three colors to represent their cause: purple, green and white. According to Kenneth Florey in his book, “Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia: An Illustrated Historical Study,” the color purple was thought of as a representation of “the royal blood that flows in the veins of every suffragette.” Green represented hope and white, purity.
The colors and their meanings were soon adopted by similar movements around the world. As the Model T rolled off Henry Ford’s assembly line, women in the U.S. were coming together to fight a different battle. In 1908, hundreds of women in New York City demonstrated in Manhattan’s Lower East Side to demand their own union and the right to vote.
The protest took place on March 8, and resulted in the first permanent trade union for women workers in the U.S. a year later. The news spread to Europe, and women were inspired to take action. In 1910, Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of an International Women’s Day during the second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, Denmark, stating, “Women of all countries will hold each year a Women’s Day, whose foremost purpose it must be to aid the attainment of women’s suffrage.
The Women’s Day must have an international character and is to be prepared carefully.” Her proposal passed with unanimous agreement, and International Women’s Day was formed. The next year, on March 19, 1911, millions of people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland celebrated the first International Women’s Day.
The United Nations celebrated International Women’s Day officially for the first time in 1975, after declaring 1975 International Women’s Year. In 1978, what is now Women’s History Month began in the United States as a local Santa Rosa, California, celebration of what was then Women’s History Week.
- Planned and executed by the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women, the week fell on March 8 in honor of International Women’s Day.
- The following year, other communities planned Women’s History Weeks and a tradition was formed.
- President Jimmy Carter was the first to issue a Presidential proclamation establishing Women’s History Week during the week of March 8, 1980.
National Women’s History Week continued to be proclaimed annually in March until 1987, when Congress passed a law establishing March as Women’s History Month. Each year since then, U.S. Presidents have issued an annual proclamation designating March as Women’s History Month.
In President Barack Obama’s 2011 Women’s History Month proclamation, signed on the 100th anniversary of the first observance of International Women’s Day, he emphasized “the extraordinary accomplishments of women and honor their role in shaping the course of our Nation’s history.” In late 2017, marketing and media agencies took notice of the announcement of Pantone’s color for the year 2018 – Ultra Violet.
According to Pantone, the color communicates, “originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us towards the future.” Following the 100th celebration of International Women’s Day and Ultra Violet being announced as the Color of the Year for 2018, purple saw its most popular resurgence and pull towards International Women’s Day.
- The Suffragettes may have started it, but the digital age really pushed purple into the international spotlight.
- The most popular search engine in the world, Google, highlighted the 2018 Google Doodle for International Women’s Day with none other than of Ultra Violet.
- They harnessed the power of purple at that time by using it to represent elements in their doodle for the world to see.
They also subtly brought it into explanatory text describing the project. Today, the color purple has a variety of meanings for different people groups. Whether talking about the Purple Heart, or the meaning of purple in the LGBTQ+ community, they all mean different things.
- On this International Women’s Day, I encourage you all to take a deeper look into your closets and think about the colors you wear and what cultural connections they make.
- And if you dare, I encourage you to wear purple this International Women’s Day in solidarity with women around the world. The U.S.
Army is currently forming a Women’s Initiative Team projected to start in March 2023. The Women’s Initiatives Team will bring together representatives from across the Department of the Army to recommend policy, program, and resource changes to create opportunities for success in women’s recruitment, retention, readiness, and advancement across the Total Army.
Learn more about International Women’s Day, Learn more about the U.S. Army’s Women’s Initiative Team, Read the 2023 Presidential Proclamation on Women’s History month, Learn more from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum,
Is purple the colour for Women’s Day?
Why Is International Women’s Day Emblem Purple In Colour? On Mar 8, 2023 New Delhi: As opposed to the stereotype of ‘pink’ is for women, when it comes to symbolising International Women’s Day (IWD), three colours, purple, green, and white actually stand in for the worldwide celebration of women’s contributions to society, the economy, culture, and politics.
The colours of International Women’s Day are purple, green, and white, according to the webpage for IWD. The colours got their start at the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), which was founded in the UK in 1908. Green symbolises hope, purple stands for justice and dignity, and white denotes purity.
Emmeline Pankhurst established the WSPU, a radical branch of the British suffrage movement, in Manchester in 1903. In a country that had outright rejected it in 1832, the WSPU battled for women’s right to vote alongside the more conventional National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).
- The National Woman’s Party in the US adopted the purple, white, and gold colour scheme.
- In a newsletter that was released on December 6, 1913, the organisation explained the significance of these hues: “Purple is the colour of loyalty, constancy to purpose, and unswerving steadfastness to a cause.
- The character of our purpose is symbolised by white, the colour of purity, and by gold, the colour of light and life, which represents our purpose as a pure and unwavering torch.
The suffragist movement’s banners frequently featured the colour white. Anti-feminists frequently depicted suffragists as ugly and masculine. Suffragists frequently donned all-white dresses with suffrage sashes in parades to combat the negative media portrayal of women’s rights.
What is the symbol of women’s day?
Official Women’s Day Flower Symbolism – The history of International Women’s Day stretches back more than 100 years when the day was first observed across Europe and America. But according to NPR, it wasn’t until March 8, 1946, that feminists in Italy chose the mimosa flower as a symbol of strength, sensibility, and sensitivity for Women’s Day.
- Getty Images Over the years, women and men alike have continued to give the gift of flowers to show their appreciation for the strong women in their lives.
- And although the mimosa flower has a special significance, it’s not the only flower given.
- According to The New York Times, flower shops across Russia sell upwards of 150,000 roses on March 8.
You, too, can participate in the flower-giving tradition this year; order flower delivery for the remarkable women in your life ahead of time, or pick up a bouquet from your local flower shop and gift individual blooms to the women you pass throughout the day.
What does pink and blue mean in gender?
By Maleigha Michael When I was younger, I learned the colors of the rainbow through the mnemonic, ROY-G-BIV (red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet). It was a color rule that has stayed with me since and helped me understand the relationship of colors. As I was growing up, I also learned another color “rule”: Pink is for girls and blue is for boys.
- This is something we all heard growing up.
- Why though? Who got to decide this? What impact does this have on society? And how come so many of us abide by this rule so strictly? I did a lot of reading on the history of these two colors, and it turns out there’s a lot of history behind them.
- It all started in the 19th century when pastel colors started becoming popularized for babies.
The two colors were first chosen because of how they complimented hair and eye colors. Blue was meant to go with blue eyes and/or blonde hair, and pink for brown eyes and/or brown hair. Then, blue was actually the color that was assigned to girls, because it was seen as a dainty color, and pink was seen as a stronger color, so it was assigned to boys.
- Okay, that actually sort of makes sense.
- But how then did pink become a color for girls and blue for boys? In my further reading, I found that girls were reassigned with pink because it was close to red, a romantic color, and women were seen as more emotional.
- But by the 1960’s during the women’s liberation movement, women challenged this social norm and threw gendered colors out the window.
However, this did not last long once prenatal testing came out, which led to parents pre-planning for their babies and retailers realizing that they could capitalize on selling specific content tailored for each gender. So we’re back to square one. Lately, the advent of “Gender Reveal Parties” has reinforced the “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” rule.
Although parents have been getting more and more creative with their reveals, pink and blue have remained the two dominant colors that people use to show the sex of their babies. Maybe you’re thinking, “Who cares? So what if pink is for girls and blue is for boys? What’s the big deal?” Well the answer I have for you also happens to wrap up what the point of this whole thing is about: Feminism.
Assigning colors to babies enforces a role that they are supposed to grow and fit into. There are only two colors, also enforcing that there are only two genders you’re allowed to claim. If you’re a girl, you have to like pink, and that also means you’re girly.
- If you’re a boy, you have to have blue, and you CANNOT like pink, or else you aren’t manly enough.
- If you’re a girl and you like blue, you’re a tomboy, and you aren’t seen as a strong female, but instead as a girl who doesn’t know how to be a proper girl.
- Obviously, this is all completely invalid and shouldn’t have ever been applied to our society back then, and shouldn’t be applied now.
I know that not everyone sticks to this rule. There are plenty of parents, more recently than ever before, that refuse to stand by this ridiculous code, and some who even take a few progressive steps further as to let their kids dress themselves however they want, such as a allowing their sons to wear dresses.
What color stands for women’s rights?
From the very beginnings of the Women’s suffrage movement, the organizers realized that they needed to use symbolism to help get their message across and make it memorable. This month we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote, as it was ratified on August 18, 1920 and certified on August 26 of that year ( find out about more women’s suffrage posts from the Library of Congress social media channels this month at this link ).
- So this blog will look at the intentional symbols that were adopted by the suffragists, as well as both desirable and undesirable symbolism that arose as the movement progressed.
- The movement took a long time to reach its goals.
- Many members of my family, men and women, either supported suffrage or actively worked for it.
One of my great grandmothers was a student when she wrote to Susan B. Anthony asking what she could do for the cause. She rallied others to the cause, marched, and attended conventions, but never had the opportunity to vote. I remember her and all those who fought for my rights each time I vote. An image of Lucretia Mott with the date 1897 showing how images of founders of the suffrage movement came to be used as icons. Scrapbooks of Elizabeth Smith Miller and Anne Fitzhugh Miller, page 32. This detail is from a page that seems out of sequence by date, but may relate to the 1897 convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
- National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection.
- The formal beginning of the Women Suffrage Movement was at the Seneca Falls Convention in New York, 172 years ago in the summer of 1848.
- He location of the convention in New York was symbolic in itself as the state had been the first to give women the right to inherit and to give married women the right to own property — the beginning of laws to treat women as citizens instead of as the property of their husbands.
The “Declaration of Sentiments” read by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and signed by attendees at the convention, echoed the Declaration of Independence, saying “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal.” Use of national symbols, as the Declaration of Independence had become, to convey women’s desire to join in the rights and freedoms that men enjoyed were evident in the early events of the movement.
The women who headed the movement became iconic figureheads as the early conventions focused on them as speakers and organizers. Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, for example, became well known and so their names and likenesses were used to draw people to the events and to celebrate the movement.
This use of the faces of the founders was to continue throughout the fight for the vote. Engraving of Elizabeth Cady Stanton wearing the clothing she introduced to Amelia Bloomer.1851. Elizabeth Cady Stanton Papers. There were also unintended symbols of the movement as often happens when people experiment with ways of communicating the need for social change.
- The movement was often trivialized, or worse, the morality of women who left their proper duties as wives, mothers, and housekeepers to fight for the vote was questioned.
- An example of how this played badly for suffragists was the issue of what to wear.
- Fashions of the time were restrictive and contributed to women being seen as incapable.
Voluminous skirts were both pointed to as evidence that women were incompetent and in fact limited what they were able to do. Progressive women were trying to stop the wearing of corsets and particularly the practice putting them onto girls as young as five.
- Corsets had reached the extreme of damaging the health of women and girls.
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton was interested in dress reform and learned of a new fashion worn by activist Elizabeth Smith Miller: a skirt or dress over loose trousers.
- She tried the outfit and introduced it to another activist and editor of the progressive magazine, The Lily, Amelia Bloomer in 1851.
Bloomer promoted this new form of dress, particularly a version with very full trousers drawn in at the ankle. What was then called the “Bloomer outfit” was extremely controversial and was ridiculed by those who opposed social change. There was a popular response as well, with music written for dances focusing on the fashion, such as Bloomer Waltz, by William Dessier (music at the link).
Stanton, Bloomer, and Anthony all agreed that they should disassociate the suffrage movement from the Bloomer outfit controversy. Instead women suffragists tended to wear modest practical clothing. The more severe form of dress we associate with the early suffrage movement was influenced by Quakers in the movement and calculated to throw off the accusations of women only having heads for fashion, while also creating an egalitarian style of dress that allowed for women of poor means to stand alongside wealthier women in the movement without feeling out of place.
Subsequent generations of suffragists did not all continue to dress as plainly. Sewing Stars on the Suffrage Banner, This appears to be one of a group of photos taken in 1920 showing Alice Paul and a group of suffragists sewing the 36th star on the suffrage flag to celebrate the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
- Stars and Stripes The symbols of the United States were important to women’s suffrage efforts from early on.
- The women sought full citizenship, so these emblems were a natural for getting their point across.
- Red, white, and blue were used in banners and sashes, and flags were used in literature and events.
Stars often appear on all sorts of items related to the movement. Stars represent the states on the flag and also in the suffrage movement. These were often used decoratively or, as the movement progressed might represent states that had given women the vote.
- In 1919, when Congress sent the amendment granting women the vote to states for ratification, the number of stars had taken on a particular meaning.
- The stars were used to keep track of the number of states that had ratified what came to be the 19th Amendment.
- Banners with stars displayed the count until the goal of 36 stars was finally reached.
Colors The early Women’s Suffrage Movement in the United States used a variety of colors in sashes, banners, and signs. Red, white, and blue could always be used, but there was a desire for colors for the movement. Different organizations, different associations of professional women, and different parts of the country each had their own colors.
- The National American Woman Suffrage Association never had official colors, allowing the individual groups to use colors of their choosing.
- But as the movement organized and more national events were held, common colors for marchers were adopted from the Women’s Social and Political Union in England: purple, white and green.
In England purple symbolized royalty, loyalty to the cause, and women’s quest for freedom; white meant purity; and green symbolized hope. In the United States these meant the same, but without the reference to royalty. The colors used in the national movement changed in 1867 as Kansas women, who had adopted the state flower, the sunflower, as their emblem, fought and lost a major battle to win the vote.
The gold of the sunflower was appealing as being like a beacon of hope and so the most common colors used in banners and sashes of the national events became purple, white, and gold. This postcard from the National Woman Suffrage Association, ca.1910 from the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History shows the use of gold in a sash and flag in the drawing of a woman participating in a march.
As several national organizations formed, both these sets of colors continued for a time with specific uses. This button for the Women’s Political Union from between 1903 and 1917 in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History shows the use of purple, white, and green.
The Congressional Union for Women’s Suffrage, formed in 1913, adopted purple, white, and gold. Much later in the movement when large marches were organized it was found that white was particularly useful. As seen in this photo of a march in Washington DC in 1914, women marching together wearing white became common as it grabbed people’s attention, and the well-known meaning of purity for white was used to counter the anti-suffrage accusation that women who sought the vote must be morally corrupt.
This also helped with the problem of unifying the many colors and emblems used by organizations in the movement. White dresses could be worn with sashes and membership pins using the colors of various organizations. Women still marched wearing other colors and their ordinary clothes, but the use of white was memorable and is still seen as a color of the suffrage effort, although it was actually only used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “The ‘new woman’ and her bicycle – there will be several varieties of her.” Drawing by Frederick Burr Opper, 1895. Bicycles and Bloomers Amelia Bloomer’s bloomers did not catch on well in the 1850s, either as a women’s suffrage garment or as a fashion.
But the problem of garments that got in the way of working, sports, and even ordinary activities of life continued to be a problem. This changed with the introduction of the safety bicycle, a bicycle with two wheels of the same size that was easy for women to ride. Women could ride it with skirts, though its introduction did help raise hemlines.
But garments for riding the bicycle: split skirts and full trousers gathered in below the knee started appearing in the 1880s and became the rage by the 1890s. The trousers were often called bloomers, although they had little resemblance to Amelia Bloomer’s costume of the 1850s.
- The bicycle and the bloomers took on the meaning women of the future, looking forward to a new century.
- In an interview with Nelly Bly in the New York paper The World, February 2, 1896, Susan B.
- Anthony said, “I’ll tell you what I think of bicycling.
- I think it has done more to emancipate woman than any one thing in the world.
I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood.” However, she didn’t approve of the fashions that had developed as a result, saying that women would need to develop their own fashions that gave them freedom but did not subject them to ridicule.
- There were, of course, grave concerns about women mounting bicycles an freely going off on their own, showing shape of their legs as they did so.
- Eliza Jane” is a humorous and slightly risqué song from this era, published as a song sheet in about 1895.
- It describes the shocking behavior of a young lady riding a bicycle and expresses concerns about what might become of her marriage prospects and her moral character (Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division).
As the song shows, Anthony was right that women needed to design their own clothes and they did. But all movements of social reform are plagued with expressions of ridicule and contempt designed to pressure people back into accepting their former condition. Sheet music cover for the suffrage song “The Dawning,” Watson, Minnie Graves, composer, lyricist, 1917, This cover shows the use of gold jonquils (or daffodils) as a symbol of the women’s movement, used for their gold color that was a symbol of hope for the future.
The full sheet music is at the link. Flora and Fauna Iconic emblems were adopted by state associations, such as the bluebird used by the Massachusetts Women Suffrage Association and sunflower used during the effort to gain ratification of the amendment for women suffrage in Kansas. Maine suffragists chose their own golden flower, the jonquil (daffodil) and this year a great many yellow daffodils were grown in Maine to celebrate the centennial.
The golden daffodil turned out to be a useful flower as smaller varieties could be worn in the lapel and bouquets might be used in events — available any time of year as florists could easily force them. So towards the end of the battle for the vote in the early 20th century this became the flower of choice.
- This was partly driven by the use of the red rose as the emblem of the Women’s Anti-Suffrage Association, as seen in this example of sheet music from that society “The Anti-Suffrage Rose.
- The song uses an illustration of roses on the cover, and the lyrics pit the rose against the jonquil.
- Anti-suffragists wore the red rose to events where state ratification was debated.
Suffragists found they needed a wearable contrasting symbol and Maine suffragists’ choice of the jonquil provided a solution. One surprising latecomer to the emblems of the women’s movement was the cat. The cat was used as a symbol of the domestic woman by anti-suffragists to say that women ought to be sitting by the hearth and taking care of the home, rather than going out and demonstrating to get the vote.
- In 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set off on a road trip sponsored by the National American Woman Suffrage Association to promote votes for women in a car they called the “golden flyer” (although like all cars of the time, it was black).
- Women driving around the country in a car at a time when few did was excellent publicity.
They started off from New York in April in a ceremony with a car filled with daffodils by well-wishers. They gave speeches in an effort to influence the 1916 presidential election platforms in favor of obtaining the vote. Early in their travels they were given a black kitten.
They named him Saxon and declared him their mascot. Because newspapers at the time picked up the story, the news of the journey of the suffragists and their cat spread around the country. Taking a negative symbol and turning it into a positive one is a classic one used by many movements to counter those opposed to a movement.
This research guide provides information on articles on the journey of Richardson and Burke as found in Chronicling America, Cover for the program booklet for the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession in Washington DC, Part of the Printed Ephemera: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera online presentation. The full program can be found at the link, Mythological Figures Movements often adopt mythic figures that symbolize the ideals 0f their movement and the women’s suffrage movement had several.
The herald, seen on the program cover for a large march in Washington, DC, in March 1913 above, took several forms. She usually wore a cape and blew a trumpet heralding a new age of freedom for women. The logo for the Women’s Political Union on the button mentioned above shows her dressed for battle with a sword and a large version of the image is found on the cover of the sheet music for “Votes for Women” by J.
Marion, I think it is likely Rose Sanderman, seen holding a trumpet in a February 1913 event in the photograph (below right), is emulating the herald. Suffragists Rose Sanderman (holding horn) and Elizabeth Freeman (right), February 10, 1913. No location is given. George Grantham Bain Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Other figures used by the suffragists in tableaus (a popular entertainment of the late 19th and early 20th centuries), plays, demonstrations, and marches were drawn from figures representing America and its ideals.
- Columbia depicted in many different ways, is a goddess figure representing the Americas.
- Liberty, and Justice (the goddess Themis from Greek mythology) represented ideals of the United States.
- The irony that these figures used by the United States to represent the country and its ideals are all women, and yet women could not fully enjoy the freedoms these figures invoked was not lost on suffragists.
In the later part of the movement these figures were helpful to gain the attention of onlookers in large marches. They also showed up on paraphernalia and sometimes on sheet music, as Justice is shown on the cover of “The Dawning” above. The 1913 parade and pageant in Washington, DC made full use of the symbols of the country and their movement, as well as the Greek revival architecture of federal buildings.
German actress Hedwig Reicher was called upon to portray Columbia, seen below in a photo in front of the Treasury Building with women in white costumes resembling togas behind her. Liberty, according to the newspapers of the time, was played by dancer Florence Noyes. The Library of Congress has a photograph of Liberty with some of her attendants, though it does not have the name of the person portraying her.
The 1913 parade was a triumph for the suffragists, providing a lasting impression and achieving national news attention that they needed to help further their fight as they sought to gain the needed Congressional support to to pass the amendment and send it to states for ratification. German actress Hedwig Reicher wearing costume of “Columbia” with other suffrage pageant participants standing in background in front of the Treasury Building, March 3, 1913, Washington, D.C. Jailed for Freedom Woman suffrage jail pin,1917. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. When Woodrow Wilson became president in 1913, many suffragists hoped that he would support their cause. They were disappointed as that support did not come. In January 1917 the National Women’s Party led by Alice Paul organized demonstrations near the White House, calling on Wilson to support them.
These came to be called “silent sentinels” as they stood holding flags and banners, as shown in this photo of women in front of the White House in 1917, As the United States entered World War I, this activity was not tolerated. Women protesters were arrested, often on charges of obstructing traffic, and jailed.
By October of 1917, some had been sentenced to six months in jail. Alice Paul was sentenced to seven months. Some imprisoned women went on hunger strikes. This did not stop the protests, as shown in this photo of a woman holding a sign in 1917 saying, “To ask freedom for women is not a crime.
Suffrage prisoners should not be treated as criminals.” Concern for the women grew, both within the movement and more generally. Women prisoners were abused and hunger strikers were force fed. On November 14, 1917, the superintendent of Occoquan Workhouse ordered guards to brutalize the suffragists, an event remembered as “The Night of Terror.” Wilson was alarmed by the turn events were taking, especially the hunger strikes.
On January 9, 1918 he formally endorsed the amendment for equal suffrage for women. This period was the dark before the dawn. The women who had been jailed were treated as heroes of the cause. A symbol of this was the door of the jail cells. A silver pin was made of a cell door and presented to those who had gone to jail. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, left, and Susan B. Anthony, Between 1880 and 1902. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Today we know that the 19th Amendment became law on August 26, 1920. But the generations of women who fought for the right to vote had no idea how long their struggle would last.
Hope came as state by state adopted laws permitting women to vote. The various ways of marking the important moments and the movement and finding ways for each generation of women to be inspired to take up the fight required innovation and the introduction of new symbols and iconic images as the needs of the effort changed.
Perhaps we women should remember the suffragists whenever we wear trousers, ride a bicycle, sign a petition, or participate in a demonstration because these and many other things are now ours to choose as a result of their journey. But the symbols most widely known today are those associated with the movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The fight for women’s votes has been commemorated or evoked by wearing white. Some remember the banners of purple, white, and gold. And we still return to the use of the images of early suffragists, particularly Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, as emblems of the movement who brought us the vote, just as these women were used as standard bearers in the early part of the movement.
But of course, they would tell us that the best way that we can honor them is to cast our votes. Resources Campbell, Amanda, “Bicycles, Bloomers, and the Vote,” Teaching with the Library of Congress, November 5, 2019 Elizabeth Cady Stanton Papers, Library of Congress Marching for the Vote: Remembering the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913, Library of Congress Research Guide National Woman Suffrage Association Collection, Library of Congress Scrapbooks of Elizabeth Smith Miller and Anne Fitzhugh Miller, Library of Congress Susan B.