I came back to my desk on March 8, 1969, and found a chocolate and a postcard wishing me a Happy International Women’s Day. A Russian colleague had left those for me and every other woman in my section of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
Even though the first National Women’s Day originated in the United States in 1909, I’d never heard of International Women’s Day. It has received better publicity in the United States since the United Nations began celebrating it in 1975.
In honor of the day, I offer a short quiz, part of one written originally for the Columbia, Missouri, branch of the American Association of University Women.
Who do you know?
Match the following former or present heads of state to their countries. Why did all of these countries elect a woman before we did?
1. Angela Merkel a. Chile
2. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf b. Ireland
3. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner c. South Korea
4. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga d. Germany
5. Michelle Bachelet e. Liberia
6. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir f. Brazil
7. Violeta Chamorro g. Nicaragua
8. Mary Robinson h. Argentina
9. Chandrika Kumaratunga i. Lithuania
10. Dalia Grybauskaitė j. Iceland
11. Dilma Rousseff k. Sri Lanka
12. Park Geun-hye l. Latvia
When did women get the vote?
Match each country with the year women got the vote. Hint: The United States wasn’t the first or the last.
1. New Zealand a. 1971
2. Switzerland b. 1955
3. Mexico c. 1947
4. Ethiopia d. 1920
5. United States e. 1893
Here are the answers. Who: 1. d, 2. e, 3. h, 4. a, 5. j, 6. g, 7. b, 8. k, 9. l, 10. i, 11. f, 12. c When: 1. e, 2. a, 3. c, 4. b, 5. d