It’s officially National Women’s History Month here in the states and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have an entire month to dedicate to women. From past to present, women have always been on the forefront of change, growth, and evolution in this country. And on March 8th each year, we celebrate International Women’s Day to appreciate the way women have been contributing to society, work, and family all over the world.
For a little bit of historical reference, National Women’s History Month in the United States dates back to March 8th, 1857. It was this day that women from factories all over New York City staged a protest over working conditions. This bold stance for equality came in 1857 and twelve years later in 1909, the first Women’s Day Celebration was held in New York City — the first celebration of this kind in the United States. It was still 72 years until Congress would establish National Women’s HIstory Week in 1981. Then six years later, they expanded it to the entire month of March.
This year’s International Women’s Day official hashtag is #EachforEqual as we continue our work to fight for pay equity and equal rights under the law for all women. So this week and this month, as we always do, we’re celebrating the ways in which women continue to be amazing. We celebrate their strength, smarts, resilience, and hearts.
So often in our country’s history, women have been thought of as mothers first, second, and last. And for many mothers, holding that role is a welcome and accomplished position. But, just like men can be both fathers and part of the workplace, women have desired that same equality of passion between work and home. One of the most inspiring American figures was Toni Morrison, beloved author. She wrote the modern classics Beloved, Song of Solomon, and more. And what’s perhaps most impressive, is that she started well after her “prime” and wrote her first novel at 39 years old while she worked full time and raised her kids as a single mom. So this month, slip into your favorite kimono style and read one of Toni Morrison’s moving novels. And remember that whatever worlds are being created by the words you’re reading, she did that despite a world that told her there was a limit on what she could achieve as a mother.
Some wonderful news is from 1940 to 2014, women saw a significant increase in those attending college. In the middle of the last century, only 3.8% of women had a college education, but in 2014, that number had increased to 30.2% of women. And with a good education comes better paying jobs, which contribute to women’s increased home ownership. Despite these gains, homes owned by single women are worth less than homes owned by single men in the U.S. so there is still a way to go for true equality. But let’s celebrate the gains we have made in the meantime. Slip into your women’s kimono grab a bottle of bubbly and toast to you, lovely.
At KIM+ONO, one of our most exciting launches of 2020 so far has been our plus size kimono robes from our Curve Collection. It has been a long time in development and we are thrilled to have this collection mirror the work that’s being done every day to center the fashion world around inclusivity and body positivity. Our plus size kimono robes come in our best selling and most loved designs, but we hope to expand the designs and materials as we continue to build on this beautiful collection.
Again, the statistics keep improving even though there’s still a considerable gap between men and women who stay at home with the kids. Stay at home dads account for 199,000 of Americans, while the number of stay at home moms is 5.2 million. It’s a huge disparity, but as pay equity improves, those numbers may increase as well. When partners are deciding who should stay at home with the kids, it’s usually the spouse who makes less money. And because women still make 80 cents to the dollar for equal work, the woman usually stays home. As we work toward equal pay for equal work, we’ll also begin to share the responsibilities of parenthood in a new way.
A Canadian study was performed to “determine the importance of role overload (the extent to which a person feels overwhelmed by her total responsibilities) relative to other known social determinants of women's mental health.” This study showed that the greater a woman perceives her role overload to be, the poorer her mental health. Now, as a woman, that may not be surprising to read, but it hopefully gives you some comfort in knowing — you’re not alone! This month in particular, find some time to breathe and do something nice for yourself. That could be as big as taking a vacation or as small as slipping into your favorite pink kimono robe to meditate and rest. Whatever you do, we know you do it with your whole heart and energy, so give yourself some self love this month and remember to fill your own cup.
Women across this country and the world are amazing. We’ve made incredible gains, and even though we still have a long way to go to reach full equality, it’s encouraging to see that progress is steady. When we started making women’s kimono robes, part of our mission was to serve a population that deserves to feel as special as they truly are. Our kimono styles are for the mother, the daughter, the friend, the sister, the aunt, the niece, the grandmother, the teacher, the mentor, the neighbor, and the sitter in your life who deserves to feel like a queen with a little bit of luxury. This month, let’s celebrate how far we’ve come, and never stop in the fight for making the world a little bit better.