Sunday, 8 March 2009


“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” - Charlotte Whitton

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD). IWD is a day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women all around the world. In some countries like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday. The first IWD was in 1911. It followed unanimous agreement at an International Conference of Working Women the previous year. Clara Zetkin (leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) proposed that every year in every country there should be one day when around the globe women's solidarity presses for equality.

Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women's Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women's rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as 'International Women's Year' by the United Nations. Women's organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women's advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women's equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

For Art Sunday, some women artists:

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653), one of the first women to achieve artistic recognition in the male-dominated renaissance world of Italian art.

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) a significant impressionist painter, undervalued for many years because of her sex.

Giovanna Garzoni (1600-1670) a painter of exquisite still life paintings in Baroque Italy.

Frida Kahlo
(1907-1954) the Mexican painter who glorified in the bright colours an highly decorative effects of her native country and whose symbolic self portraits express her life of pain.

Georgia O’ Keeffe
(1887-1986) an American artist whose flower paintings verging on the abstract changed the face of American art in 1920s onwards.

Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), a German expressionist painter whose tortured drawings and etchings bring out the pain of poverty, war and destruction.

“Grandma Moses” (1860-1961) the American naïve artist whose canvases enchant with their simple depictions of everyday life.

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (1749-1803) a French painter of portraits and historical scenes.

Judith Leyster (1609-1660) a Dutch painter of portraits, genre scenes and still life.

Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) an American photojournalist and documentary photographer. A famous photograph by Lange “Migrant Mother” illustrates today’s blog and pays tribute to women artists and women the world over on this, their special day.
Happy Women’s Day!

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