This week will see Mother’s Day for the UK on Sunday and International Women’s Day on March 8th. Our women’s onesies have always been popular as a Mother’s Day gift; like a cuddle wrapped up in a parcel. Would women’s onesies be inappropriate for International Women’s Day? Probably since the day has a serious tone and is also a call to action to accelerate gender parity -“Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. Around the world, the UN is organizing events to mark the day in more than 40 countries, including: a friendly hockey match between a men’s and women’s team in Tanzania on 5 March; a march and cycling rally in New Delhi, India on 6 March; a festival with live musical and dance performances in Palestine on 8 March; marches, a football match and painting exhibitions across Albania from 5-8 March. It is useful to reflect that, although New Zealand claims to be the first country to give women the vote in 1893, it wasn’t until the 1970s that some developed countries completed universal women’s suffrage and of course even today, in much of the world, women are more worried about their personal safety than equal rights.
Mother’s Day has a lighter tone but is also a relatively recent creation and in some countries the two celebrations are linked. Ex-communist countries such as Russia or Ukraine sometimes celebrate the International Women’s Day instead of the more commercial Mother’s Day or use the same day for both. Kyrgyzstan has recently introduced Mother’s Day, but International Women’s Day remains a popular holiday. Most countries, including the USA, have their Mother’s Day celebration in May. Arguably Mother’s Day is a US import rather like Halloween or Black Friday. Although the Christian Church had a holy day in its calendar called Mothering Sunday this was about celebrating the Mother Church rather than individual mothers. Now it has become rather commercialised here too with national newspapers producing lists of the best gifts to buy. According to the National Retail Federation Survey in America, total spending related to their Mother’s Day was expected to reach $21.2 billion last year. How can that be your shriek – 80% of consumers buy a greeting card, spending more than $786 million, and more than two-thirds buy flowers, to the tune of $2.4 billion. Shoppers also plan on gifting clothing items spending more than $1.9 billion, up from $1.7 billion last year. Families spend on a special brunch or activity ($3.8 billion) and for big spenders it has to be jewellery, with spending of $4.3 billion expected for that special day. For something a little more modest our Cute cotton women’s onesies are under £20.