This year’s official IWD theme is simple and powerful: “Inspiring change.” It’s been 102 years since the first IWD, and in that time women have made some momentous changes: from suffrage, to climbing the ladder in every profession, to the 49 countries that have been led by a woman. But there is much work left to be done.
Until every woman and girl is free to get an education, free to walk safely down the streets of her neighborhood, and earn equal pay for equal work, we have work to do.
As part of Women’s History Month, we will celebrate women from all walks of life - across centuries and oceans, stories and backgrounds, and fiction and nonfiction. But it’s important to remember that all of history is women’s history.
As a Hogwarts student in the early 1950s, Minerva McGonagall must have reflected on the fact that she was able to be a Quidditch star on a co-ed sports team decades before her Muggle counterparts would have that chance. Minerva’s achievements spanned a long and vibrant lifetime. From empowering her students to leading the Battle of Hogwarts, she knew that inspiring change meant working tirelessly every day.
It is with this in mind that we’re honoring Professor Minerva McGonagall as the HPA’s 2014 Woman of the Year. Throughout the month, we will highlight her achievements alongside those of all women.
We talk a lot about magic and progress and love. These are all incredibly important, but it’s easy to lose sight of the people behind every movement. When it comes to Harry Potter, the power of story, and changing the world beyond that, women have always been at the heart of it all.
It’s time the world acted like it.
International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month exist not just in honor of those women, but in aspiration to a time where their rights and representation are universally upheld.
Please join us throughout March as we celebrate these awesome occasions. Follow along with us through Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram.