I have always had an aversion to this day because I think women should be celebrated everyday but I know there is a larger meaning to it and that it commemorates a specific event and that women all over the world suffer great injustices and a lack of civil rights, in the most basic rights. Protests take place all over the world today although many women can’t take off from work to protest or would be punished if they attempted to stand up for their rights. While we are certainly farther along than in the past, we are not yet at a place of true equality – not by a long shot and that’s why it is still important to discuss where we stand today.
International Women’s day was founded more than a century ago after some 15,000 women marched in New York City to demand better working conditions and voting rights. There is an amazing and touching film called “We Rise” about women throughout New York history that used to be at the New York Historical Society. I don’t know where you can find it now but it is really worth watching. I learned so much about New York history and women’s rights.
On this day I like to give a shout out to my friend Kristen Engvig who started a whole movement about women and what they bring to the workplace, W.I.N. I lived with Kristin in Milan when she created this organization, kudos to her. She does conferences all over the world and has been going strong for over 20 years with the conference while raising her amazing son.
I also always think about all the women in the wine business I know whether they started a winery, are oenologists, writers, journalists, salespeople, brand ambassadors, educators, distributors or importers. While it is no longer a novelty, women in the wine business still tend to bring a different set of skills to the table and to face different challenges. I remember when I first discovered Le Donne del Vino in Italy, I was thrilled to find such a group and every year at Vinitaly, I am excited to attend their seminars.
Donatella Cinelli Colombini from Fattoria del Colle – Casato Prime Donne is the President. A very forceful and influential woman in Italian wine, I admire her. I wrote this post about her on International Women’s Day a few years ago and visited her at her estate in 2005. I look forward to seeing what they do this year at Vinitaly.