The Translation of International Women’s Day

By / 18 January 2015 / Professional translation

The Translation of International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th March in a great number of countries all over the world. The day gained its official UN status in 1977, but it has notably and informally existed in the USA since the beginning of the 20th century.

The Translation of International Women's Day - IAEA Imagebank, International Women's Day 2009 (Flickr)

The Translation of International Women’s Day – IAEA Imagebank, International Women’s Day 2009 (Flickr)

Why “International Women’s Day” and not “World Women’s Day”? Answering this question means looking back at the event’s roots. In the USA (as well as in Europe), the dawn of the 20th century was marked by women’s demands for gender equality with the right to vote seen as a key stepping-stone towards this. These activists mostly came from socialist backgrounds and were members of organizations known for their internationalist movements aiming at bringing together workers all over the world.

The Spanish translation of International Women’s Day is “Día Internacional de la Mujer”, the Portuguese translation of International Women’s Day is “Dia Internacional da Mulher” and the Italian translation of International Women’s Day, “Giornata internazionale della donna”.

The Translation of International Women’s Day into practice

The Translation of excessively slow empowerment

The translation of International Women’s Day into practice is significant of major changes to their status in Europe since Antiquity. Whereas in ancient Greece (and during far too many subsequent centuries), women’s lives were harshly dominated by their husband or father, the comparatively recent articulation (as compared to the whole period of several centuries) of doctrines in favour of both gender’s equal fulfilment has brought about women’s sudden appearance on the public stage.

The UN’s official approval of this day is a clear sign that an order which has been in place for over a millennium is being reversed. Institutions and official bodies are now working to improve women’s lives all over the world. It is only after centuries of struggling that they have become a matter of international concern and not simply one of domestic significance in the strictest sense of the word [4].

Gaining essential political independence: translating words into acts

Every year, the UN calls for thematic translations of International Women’s Day. In 2015, the event’s catchphrase was “Empowering women, empowering humanity, imagine it!” [3]. The objective is clearly to kick-start a virtuous cycle turning women’s empowerment (on educational, political and other fronts) into a decisive step towards gender equality, hence likening feminism to an amended humanism.

From a post-millennium-objectives standpoint, the translation of International Women’s Day into practice also insists on the fact that improving women’s lives is one of the initiative’s cornerstones. This is hence why the key is now to “Step It Up for Gender Equality” [4].

Here at Mytranslation, we’re proud to have developed a platform which completely ignores not only our translators’ gender (we don’t even ask for this information upon account creation), but other personal details too. So let’s work together for a “50-50 planet by 2030”!

The Translation of International Women's Day - Día de la mujer trabajadora (jacinta lluch valero - Flickr)

The Translation of Mother’s Day – Día de la mujer trabajadora (jacinta lluch valero – Flickr)

Sources and photo credits

[1] – IAEA Imagebank, “International Women’s Day 2009” (Flickr)
[2] – Sara M. Evans, Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America
[3] – UN.org: International Women’s Day
[4] – UN Women: International Women’s Day 2015
[5] – jacinta lluch valero, « Día de la mujer trabajadora » (Flickr)

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