Full disclosure. I'm not a woman, but I am a wholehearted celebrant of International Women's Day. One of my great joys in my long career in nonprofit technology has been seeing the extraordinary success of so many women in our field. I just want to mention a few of them.
International Women's Day came about in its current form in 1975. That year, the United Nations declared International Women's Year, and began sponsoring International Women's Day every March 8.
It had had a really interesting history before that though. The earliest Women's Day observance was held in 1909 in New York, when the Socialist Party of America commemorated a strike of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. From the beginning, it was about jobs, education, and money.
Those themes hold to this day. Gender parity in education and equal pay for equal work are unresolved issues in 2017. Gender equality is one of the 17 new UN Sustainable Development Goals. Addressing violence against women is critically important too.
The Gender Parity Index is a UNESCO measurement of access to education for both males and females. Girls and women have made major strides since 1990, but they have not yet gained educational gender equity. In many countries, this goal will likely not be reached until the end of this century.
The World Health Organization reports that 30 percent of women who have been in a relationship have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime.
According to the nonprofit American Association of University Women, the U.S. gender pay gap is currently at around 80 percent, but probably won't close until 2152. Progress to close the pay gap has slowed since 2000. Women face unequal pay in nearly every occupation.
As in so many fields, nonprofits, religious organizations, libraries, and foundations are important change agents toward a world of gender equality. There are powerful women in these organizations. I have noticed that a significant percentage, I daresay a majority, of the people attending the big annual Nonprofit Technology Conferences (NTC) have been women every year.
It is one of the very few tech conferences where that is the case. I'd just like to list of few of those powerful women whose good work I happen to know about.
If you'd like to send the world your own statement on International Women's Day, the hashtags this year are #IWD2017 and #BeBoldForChange. We hope you like our list of extraordinary women in tech for good, and invite you to name your favorites, or add some more to the list! Just sign in to TechSoup and tell us in the comments section below.
Image 1: Jennifer Leahy Photography
Image 2: Jane Meseck
Image 3: Lisa Pool
Image 4: JD Lasica / CC BY-NC
Image 5: JD Lasica / CC BY-NC
Image 6: Karen Graham
Image 7: Cambodia4kids.org Beth Kanter / CC BY
Image 8: Catalina Escobar
Image 9: Nicole Ozer
Image 10: Eva Galperin
Image 11: Geoff Livingston / CC BY-ND
Image 12: Heather Holdridge
Image 13: Cecily Walker
Image 14: Andromeda Yelton
Image 15: Lauren Hunter
Image 16: Rebecca Masisak
Image 17: Marnie Webb
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.
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