“Who run the world? Girls.” — Beyoncé
Here at Manitoba Harvest we celebrate the world-changing contributions of women year-round. But this month offers a special chance to bring our collective attention and appreciation to the resilience, spirit, and accomplishments of women all over the world — as well as those right here in our own organization!
March is observed as Women’s History Month in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. March 8th is celebrated worldwide as International Women’s Day, which was officially commemorated by the United Nations in 1975. Its history stretches back further than that, though, as it’s been celebrated in one form or another since 1911.
Jodi Cloutier, Supply Chain Controller
- Favorite Product: Hemp Yeah! Chocolate Granola
- Why do you enjoy working for MH?: I love working for MH because of all the incredible people I get to work with
The first International Women’s Day was held on March 19th, when more than a million people in Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, and Germany demonstrated in favor of giving women the right to vote and hold office, and against sex-based discrimination at work.
On March 8th, 1917, women textile workers in Russia staged a massive demonstration, striking for “bread and peace,” an end to World War I, and an end to czarism. Seven days later, women in Russia were granted the right to vote. (Women in the U.S. would win that right three years later, in 1920.)
Despite its roots in the U.S., International Women’s Day was predominantly celebrated in communist countries until 1967, when second-wave feminists once again claimed it as a day of activism. Throughout the 70s and 80s, labor groups and women’s activists joined forces to call for equal pay, reproductive rights, and protection against violence. The United Nations declared 1975 International Women’s Year, and two years later proclaimed March 8 as the UN Day for women's rights and world peace.
Molly Kayfes, Associate Brand Manager
- Favorite Product: Hemp Yeah! Granola - ALL flavors!
- Why do you enjoy working for MH?: First and foremost, the PEOPLE. My colleagues are much more than just co-workers, they are family. They bring positive energy to each day and empower one another to pursue their goals. Also, my passion for health and wellness and Manitoba Harvest sharing in and prioritizing the same values I have for our mind, body, and environment.
Since then, International Women’s Day has been observed worldwide and used as an opportunity for rallies, demonstrations, protests, and celebrations. (In one particularly unique and touching tribute on March 8th, 2016, a group of men climbed a mountain in China while wearing dresses and high heels, in solidarity with “the hardship of being a woman nowadays.”)
Shania Pearson, Customer Care Representative
- Favorite Product: Hemp Yeah! Honey & Oat Granola, simply because it is packed with quality ingredients that I can eat straight from the bag when I’m on the go and can count on to keep me feeling full.
- Why do you enjoy working for MH?: Working on both the Hemp Oil Canada and Manitoba Harvest sides of the business for just shy of 3 years has taught me so much from so many different people. It is truly inspiring the amount of knowledge everyone has brought to make this company what it is today! I always said I wanted to work for a company that felt like a second home, and this one does, my team is my family!
Recent years have seen a variety of annual themes for International Women’s Day, including “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” and “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change.” The UN theme for International Women's Day this year is "Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World.” The theme is meant to highlight the impact that girls and women worldwide have had as health care workers, caregivers, innovators and community organizers during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the disproportionate effects of the pandemic on women.
In 2014, Beyoncé commemorated International Women’s Day with a special video tribute on her YouTube channel. Its message of empowerment, diversity, and celebration is just as resonant today. Enjoy!