International Women’s Day (IWD) was on March 8 and the comics community celebrated by talking about the creators, artists, and illustrators who help to inspire us and make comics a more inclusive and welcoming place.
A Brief History
Though there is some conflict regarding the origin of International Women’s Day, scholars generally associate it with the 1907 march of New York’s textile workers. The march brought some 15,000 women to the streets from the needle and textile industry to demand better working conditions and shorter hours.
IWD is closely associated with the Socialist Party. At the Second International Conference of Women held in Copenhagen–which was attended by women from 17 countries, who represented unions, socialist parties, and working women’s clubs–German Socialist Luise Zietz proposed an ‘International Woman’s Day’ to take place the following year.
Over the last century, the celebration of International Women’s Day has sought to shed a light on the working conditions of women across the world, the oppression they face and to show solidarity with other activists. For example, yesterday in Madrid, Spain thousands of women refused to work as they joined in the global strike, often held on IWD, to highlight the gender pay gap and bring attention to gender-based violence. International Women’s Day was formally recognized by the United Nations in 1975 and is now celebrated in over 140 countries.
Celebration in Comics
As many sought to commemorate IWD2018, women, non-binary and gender non-conforming folks in the comics-verse took to Twitter to celebrate those who have inspired them. Some created art to help commemorate the day, where others took the time to remind us of the importance of making comics more inclusive and representative of the world around us.
I’ve collected a smattering of Tweets from those in the comics community to help show how we came together to celebrate and lift one another up, shine a light on oppression, and to continue the work of pressing for more inclusivity in comics.
Andrea Ayres writes about comics and representation in pop-culture.