Purple for International Women’s Day

by Merissa Tan

‘Behind every successful man, there is a woman’, goes the age old adage. Over the past few decades, feminist movements have been spreading and growing, in hopeful attempts to eradicate the stereotypes surrounding the female population and defend the rights of women all over the world. Since 1911, the International Women’s Day has been held annually on the 8th of March to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for gender equality. Guess what’s the official colour for this remarkable day? It’s none other than the prettiest colour of all – in my opinion at least 😉 – PURPLE!

Purple is a precise combination of two colours – blue and red. As such, purple combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red. So why purple for the International Women’s Day? Besides being one of the second favourite colours in the world, purple symbolises justice and dignity – two values strongly associated with women’s equality. The pigment of choice dates back to the suffrage days of the early 1900s, when purple was closely associated with the women’s suffrage movement.

The Human Rights of United Nations have designed various themes for Women’s Day, and for 2015, the theme says ‘Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture It!’, calling for further action for advancing and recognising women. The theme this year also talked about “Make It Happen”, with the dedicated hashtag #MakeItHappen spreading like wildfire across all major social media platforms. So, what are some interesting events that were held in 2015 to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

Women of the World Festival

Founded in 2010, Women of the World Festival (WOW) is a UK based, week-long festival featuring musical performances, debates, public speeches, mentoring sessions, and more. Its founding place, Southbank Centre in London is its principal venue. In its sixth year in 2015, WOW closed with an empowering speech by actress-producer Salma Hayek, who spoke of how the world “has been created by systems designed for men,” and constantly reiterated that women need to fight to break down barriers in their lives.

Women in Science Symposium

The symposium held in Auckland, New Zealand aims to attract more women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations while maximizing innovation, creativity and competitiveness. This year, the symposium featured female professionals in fields such as information technology, medicine and engineering in engaging, stimulating panel discussions.

Mums and Girls Code

Presented by Microsoft Luxembourg, Geek Girls Carrots and Workshop4Me, this event is an introductory English-language workshop in coding that mums and their daughters can get involved in, featuring fun coding activities to empower women and young girls.

So, have all these talk about the International Women’s Day got you excited for next year’s celebration? If so, prepare your purple clothes, purple makeup and purple hair dye, use the hashtag #PaintItPurple and join in the global movement for women’s rights! While you’re at it, here’s a cheeky mashup of some of the greatest female artists’ works by the talented singer-songwriter Daniel Dobbs to celebrate the 2015 International Women’s Day, enjoy! 🙂


International Women’s Day by Daniel Dobbs

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