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8 March is International Women’s Day, formerly known as International Working Women’s Day. On 8-M we commemorate women’s struggles for participation in society and to achieve equality with men.

 

What are the origins of 8M? Why is International Women’s Day celebrated?

 

Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that due to its origin related to tragic events, this date is used to raise awareness of gender inequality and demand equal rights for women in various areas and spheres of society.

This commemoration originated on 8 March 1875, when a group of women working at a New York textile factory demonstrated to protest against the unequal pay compared to the men who worked with them. The police responded to these protests with brutal repression and 120 working women were killed.

Thus, Women’s Day dates back to the 19th century labour movement and was subsequently recognised by the United Nations as a day for the defence of women’s rights and social and labour equality; a day to reflect on how women’s struggles have progressed, without forgetting that the fight must continue.

Before the events of 8 March 1875, Americans Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott brought together hundreds of people at the first national women’s rights convention in August 1848. Both argued that “all men and women are created equal” and demanded civil, social, political and religious rights for women and men.

As a result, they were ridiculed, especially when it came to women’s suffrage, but they planted a seed that flourished in the years that followed, which has been highlighted by the UN in special reports on women’s activism over the years.

 

History and background of International Women’s Day

 

  • Women’s March in New York in 1908. As a precursor to International Women’s Day, some 15,000 people demonstrated for shorter working hours, higher wages and the right to vote. A year later, the Socialist Party of America declared 28 February as the first National Women’s Day celebrated in the United States.
  • In 1910, Clara Zetkin suggested the idea of a global women’s day at the International Working Women’s Conference in Copenhagen (Denmark). Their proposal was heard by a hundred women from 17 countries and unanimously approved, but without agreeing on a specific date.
  • A year later, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated on 19 March 1911, bringing together over one million people in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland.

In addition to the right to vote and to hold public office, they called for women’s rights to work, vocational training and non-discrimination in the workplace.

However, in its early days, “the commemoration (also) serves as a protest against World War I,” the UN notes. And therein lies one of the keys to why the date of 8 March was eventually chosen.

 

Without a doubt, history is full of women who managed to change history and inspire many other women. Today, on the Record go blog, we are going to remember the achievements of women who have been part of the history of motor racing, motoring and automobiles.

For example, Emilia Pardo Bazán, an important writer of late 19th century literary realism, also played a role, albeit circumstantially, in the history of the automobile. Aside from her excellent literary work, she is also known as the first Spanish woman to drive a car. So, the Galician writer wrote a chronicle in which she spoke of her driving and her love of speed, which also served to defend her personal freedom and to challenge the condition of being at the mercy of an intolerant and oppressive society.

Emilia Pardo Bazán was a pioneer in ideas about women’s rights and feminism, she considered women’s education to be a fundamental issue and dedicated a large part of her public speeches to defending it.

 

Five women who made motor racing history

 

  • Maria Teresa de Filippis. The first female driver to race in Formula 1 and her achievements helped to bring home the message that women also had the right to participate in car racing. Her races in the Maserati 250F, also driven by Fangio, have gone down in the sport’s history.
  • Lella Lombardi. Perhaps the most famous woman in Formula 1 history. Together with racing teams such as Williams, Brabham and March, she participated in numerous Formula 1 races.
  • María de Villota. She was a great example of overcoming her own challenges and was rewarded with the chance to become one of the most important representatives of the Superleague Formula and signed with Renault.
  • Divina Galica. Known as the queen of speed, she made history alongside Lella Lombardi by racing in the same Grand Prix as her compatriot.
  • Giovanna Amati. She was the last woman to qualify for a Formula 1 Grand Prix. She managed to participate three times in the 1992 season.

 

These are a few examples of the many women in the automotive industry, just as in any other industry.

We must stress that gender equality allows women and men to receive the same opportunities, conditions and treatment without losing sight of individual traits that allow and guarantee their rights as citizens.

On top of being a fundamental human right, gender equality is essential for a peaceful society, fostering human potential and enabling sustainable development. Moreover, women’s empowerment has been shown to stimulate productivity and economic growth.

At Record go, we are a great team with 50% women and 50% men.

 

 

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