Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
According to the official IWD site, the theme for 2017 is #BeBoldForChange, which is a call for everyone to help forge a better, more gender inclusive world.
In celebration of this iconic day, Facebook has just begun a 24-hour, worldwide FB Live event titled #SheMeansBusiness.
In an official statement, Facebook announced that the event will feature policy makers, female business owners, entrepreneurs, NGOs and leaders around the world. They will use Facebook Live to share inspiration, impart knowledge and discuss women in business.
The first stream took place in New Zealand and has already concluded.
The next stream will take place at 10 am from Sydney. It will be hosted by Mia Freedman, co-founder and creative director of Mamamia Women’s Network.
You can participate by either viewing live or replayed video sessions or going live yourself with a female entrepreneur using the hashtag #SheMeansBusiness.
— Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) March 7, 2017
In addition to this 24-hour event, Facebook is encouraging all users to show their solidarity for IWD by going live on their own, checking out a local female-led group or by sharing a supporting post, image or video.
Facebook has also conducted new research on Australian women in business. Key findings from this research include:
• 34% of women in Australia would like to set up their own business
• If they did, it is estimated that these women would unlock a potential AUD 47.8 billion per annum to the Australian economy, build 330,000 new businesses and create 537,000 additional jobs – all by the end of 2020
• Not feeling ready (37%); a lack of confidence (21%) and a lack of business skills (24%) are key reasons holding women back from starting and growing their businesses. Access to finance (32%) is also a factor.
• There are more than 65 million active small business Pages on Facebook globally – and an increasing number of women (30% globally) are using this community to start and grow successful businesses.
• Between 2015 and 2016 the number of women-owned SMB Pages on Facebook in Australia increased by 136%.
• Globally, 40% of Pages on Facebook are women-owned pages, which has increased by 60% since last year.
Facebook’s event will conclude with a live session with Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, who will be broadcasting live from San Francisco.
The first Women’s Day observance was held on February 28th, 1909 in New York.
On March 8th, 1917, a Women’s Day demonstration in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) was a key catalyst of the Russian Revolution. It was declared a national holiday in Soviet Russia that year and was mainly celebrated in communist countries until it was adopted in 1977 by the United Nations.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has just written a letter to Russian women wishing them well on the holiday. In it, he praised women for possessing “mysterious power”. He went on to hail women as the “true soul of Russia” in an accompanying speech.
Meanwhile, his “buddy” U.S President Donald Trump has yet to comment on IWD. His most recent tweet is a big surprise – another whinge about FAKE NEWS. Sad!