Thursday morning, 6:30 am. Glancing at the alarm clock with sleepy eyes, you suddenly realize: Wow! Today, it is the International Women’s Day which is a significant day not only for all women but which is more important than ever – especially today in 2018.
Much has happened over the last year, which would have hardly been possible for a long time. Campaigns such as #metoo and #timesup do not only lead to discussions but are being transformed into actions. All over the world the equal treatment of women and men is gaining ground, with an increasingly louder voice raising more public awareness. Also, celebrities and those belonging to the glam world of Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys finally are sending strong signals against harassment and for equal pay. It’s about time, too!
The International Women’s Day goes back to the 1910s when it was initiated by Clara Zetkin in Europe. Back then, the main goal was the implementation of women’s suffrage. Since then the International Women’s Day has supported many of the women’s movement radical claims which are taken for granted today – such as the enforcement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, equal pay for the same work, or the maternity protection.
Besides, right from the start, there was always this very special colour connected to the women’s movement: lilac. AKA Ultra Violet or purple. How come? Why would it be purple, of all colours, when Goethe verifiably found it quite unbearable? Apparently, Goethe was blind in one eye. Well, typical male!
The colour was first mentioned by the archaic Greek poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos. She associated it with the women’s freedom and independence. In the Middle Ages, the colour purple was associated with power, due to its very difficult and expensive production. It was not until the 19th century that the mixture of blue and pink became a symbol of gender equality, and the success of the colour started to accelerate in the early 20th century. And it continues to this day. Whether it is the “Purple Rain” by Prince or the movie “The Colour Purple” with Whoopi Goldberg – the colour has become synonymous with self-assurance, unconventionality, and individuality.
Especially now, when the concerns and demands of women are moving into the limelight again, the Pantone Color Institute has announced Ultra Violet colour of the year. Which seems to be a fortunate coincidence.
This is why we say, on today’s International Women’s Day 2018: Venceremos! We are making progress!