Google celebrating International Women’s Day with a doodle decorated with symbols of women instead of its familiar logo. The “G” in Google on the search engine’s homepage has been replaced with the female symbol while one of the “o” has been substituted with a flower.
Activities will take place around the world today under the theme of “connecting girls, inspiring futures” for the annual event that has been observed since the early 1900s and is now celebrating its 101st day.
Glenda Stone, founder of InternationalWomensDay.com, said: “Activity on International Women’s Day has skyrocketed over the last five years. This is due to the rise of social media, celebrity involvement, and corporations taking on the day sponsoring and running big events.”
“Our @womensday community on Twitter with around 10,000 followers is phenomenal for sharing videos, information and news as it happens. Offline large scale women’s rallies have become even larger through the use of social media. It would be hard to find any country that did not celebrate the day in some way.”
Thousands of events worldwide — both today and throughout the month, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe — are staged to honor women’s causes and achievements politically, economically and culturally. And different groups choose different empowering themes.
The U.N. says the overall theme is “Empower Rural Women — End Hunger and Poverty” while the European Parliament has voted for the slogan ”Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value”. The hub website International Women’s Day has picked “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures.”
According to the U.N., rural women and girls are one-fourth of the world’s population, yet “routinely figure at the bottom of every economic, social and political indicator.”
Among the world leaders scheduled to help observe the day are U.S. President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Celebrities said to be participating in Women’s Day events include Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon, the Oscar- and Grammy-winning musician Annie Lennox and Kristin Davis, who visited Washington on Wednesday on behalf of Oxfam America’s Sisters on the Planet Summit for women farmers.
To mark the Women’s Day big centennial last year, Google featured a striking Doodle that, when you clicked on it, guided the viewer toward 300 “Join Women on the Bridge” events in 50 countries. This year, from Kosovo to Toronto to San Francisco, more join-on-the-bridge events are planned.
“International Women’s Day has become a powerful day for women activists banding together to have their voice heard,” continued Glenda Stone.
“It has also become a mainstream day for celebrating the success of women in all fields across all countries. The day is used to fundraise, launch research findings, announce special initiatives and even promote companies and products.”
“The true depth that lies behind why this day is so powerful, however,” Stone continues, “should really only be measured by three things: the level of awareness increased globally for overcoming inequalities for women; the levels of action and finance that are allocated directly as a result of Women’s Day campaigning; and the decrease or eradication of inequalities against women worldwide.”
“Having thousands for events occurring around the world is impressive,” she says, “but actions and funds speak louder than all the niceties.”
The first National Women’s Day, backed by the Socialist Party of America, was observed in the United States in 1909. Two years later, International Women’s Day was marked in numerous European countries, as more than a million people reportedly attended rallies for women’s rights.
Google has doodled the International Women’s Day on four previous occasions. First in 2005, then consecutively after a four-year break, from 2009 to 2011.
International Women’s Day was first celebrated on March 18, 1911 in four European countries – Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The United Nations began officially supporting and sponsoring the event since 1975, the year that was designated as International Women’s Year.
It’s reported that the 2012 International Women’s Day doodle is the 1324th Google Doodle since the first ever on for the Burning Man Festival back on August 30, 1998.