Humber students on Wednesday marked International Women’s Day and reflected on past and present achievements as well as hopes for the future.
“International Women’s Day means to have all the women together in unity. Like my mother or my grandma and their rich history” said Sarah Habtom, a second year student in the Community Integration through Cooperative Education Program.
“There wasn’t really anything for women except domestic justification. Men did a lot of the jobs so it didn’t leave anything else for women. Unless they wanted to be judged by the public,” said Habtom.
International Women’s Day was officially recognized by the United Nations in 1975 and is celebrated in over 30 countries. Some countries have adapted the day as a national holiday and March has been named Women’s History Month.
“It is recognizing women, their efforts, their sacrifices, and overall, their contribution to mankind,” said Gabe Dominica Mendes, a first year Paralegal student.
Like many women, Mendes says she witness the power of women through her mother who is her biggest inspiration and encouragement.
“I’ve seen my mom in different phases. I’ve heard of her as a small child. I’ve heard of her as a daughter, and as a great wife and a great mother. It’s how she can evolve and how she can fit in all the roles so perfectly, and keep everything perfect and fine, is what inspires me” said Mendes.
Other students had similar feelings.
“My mom is very strong. She raised three kids on her own as a single mother,” said Maria Shalash, a first year Paralegal student.
“She moved across the globe, to a different country. And she she’s still supporting us even now, even though now we’re all-over legal age,” said Shalash.
Immanuela Kyeremanten, a first year Esthetician Spa and Management student, said she learned about International Women’s Day in one of her previous classes years ago.
“I got to learn about certain things that women in our past did for us like Florence Nightingale. She really pushed hard as a woman, as a mother, as a sister to save more lives than anybody else,” said Kyeremanten.
She said she was excited Wednesday morning when she woke up and realized what day it was.
“Every confident woman that’s out there, anytime I see them and then I see that confidence, it motivates me to be better. So it’s not just one single person. It’s like a lot of women that I see out there, they’re doing their best,” said Kyeremanten.
Clara Zetkin, leader of Germany’s Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party and a Women’s Rights Advocate, proposed the idea of a global International Women’s Day in 1910.
The first International Women’s Day first took place on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.
Riley Erley, a first year Paralegal student, said the day remains important although a lot has changed over the years.
”It’s a wide comparison to how it is now. They want your education to be important and for you to be independent, not rely on anyone” said Erley.
“Times have changed” since women first entered the workforce, she said.