International Women’s Day – March 8

Why does a group of people comprising half the World’s population need a special Day of recognition? Well, we can start with history.

For millennia, world leaders, archaeologists and historians could not (or would not) accept the accomplishments of women.  No less a person than Darwin stated that a woman’s smaller sized brain was “proof” of lower intelligence. Modern explorers and historians, with the technology available to them, are gradually unearthing a different picture.  We all grew up thinking that the ancient hunter/gatherers were male hunters and female gatherers. Recent discoveries appear to confirm what some scientists have long put forward; that both men and women participated in hunts. Just a few years ago DNA testing of the remains of a powerful Viking leader revealed a woman, not a man.

Those women recorded in history were often vilified or trivialised. Empress Wu of China was recorded for all the bad she did, ignoring her great martial and political prowess.  Cleopatra of Egypt, who seduced both Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony with “her great beauty”, has now been shown as having been a highly intellectual woman with shrewd political acumen…. and not particularly good looking. In ancient Britain, Queen Boudica of the Iceni took a famous stand against the Roman invaders.  Here are some other women warriors of a day gone by.  Moving forward through history, there was Isabella of Spain, Catherine the Great of Russia, Elizabeth the First of England and others. Maybe many others whom history has forgotten.

Fast forward to the twentieth century. How many of us knew of the existence of the women in America’s Space Race before the movie Hidden Figures, was released? Here are some stories about those wonderful women, some of  the other “computers”, as they were called, who participated in that programme; and other great female mathematicians of recent history.

Iris Collins led the way as the first woman elected to Jamaica’s Parliament in 1944. Eugenia Charles of Dominica, elected in 1980, was the region’s first woman Prime Minister, and, of course, The Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, current Prime Minister of Barbados, is making an impact on the World Stage. Here’s a list of female Caribbean Heads of Government and Heads of State.

International Women’s Day official UN commemoration: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world on the way to the Generation Equality Forum; 8th March 2021, 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. (EST)

International Women’s Day events worldwide

Of course, no celebration of International Women’s Day would be complete without celebrating the women serving on our Board of Directors, our former Executive Council members, those who served and are serving on our Committees; and all the women of the Caribbean Actuarial Association, past and present: those who have risen to the top, both in the Caribbean and internationally, and those who work quietly behind the scenes.

Have a great International Women’s Day and a productive week.

Your News Team: Shubhash, Betty, Pedro and Brian

The views expressed above are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, standards or policies of the CAA. The CAA assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of content contained in any linked site.

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