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Unitarian Universalist Service Illuminates the History and Significance of International Women’s Day

Rev. Carol Huston

By Jon Sievert

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated worldwide on March 8. At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service of San Miguel de Allende (UUFSMA), the Reverend Carol Huston addresses the significance of that holiday in today’s world.

This annual day of solidarity has a history that dates back to a 1909 call by the Socialist Party of America for a day to recognize equal rights for women and suffrage. The earliest Women’s Day observance, called “National Woman’s Day,” was held on February 28, 1909, in New York.

The idea spread quickly through socialist and communist parties and nations in the next few years. Today, International Women’s Day is a public holiday in some countries and largely ignored elsewhere. In some places, it is a day of protest; in others, it is a day that celebrates womanhood.

A holiday created in socialist circles and endorsed by the UN? This is not exactly something that the United States would embrace. As a result, IWD has been little noticed in the Western Hemisphere, even while it has been widely observed in Europe and Asia. But it has been growing in the US, and much of the impetus for this has come from a UU women’s organization, the International Women’s Convocation (IWC).

Rev Huston was a founding board member of IWC and served as its second president. IWC was born in 2009 at a large gathering of women in Houston, Texas. Since then, there have been large convocations in Romania and in California. Smaller gatherings have been held in the Philippines and Bolivia as women came together to set priorities and develop action plans for women’s empowerment. IWC has helped establish leadership, microcredit, and education projects in Asia, South America, and Africa. A newsletter and a website ( document these projects and encourage new ones.

Following careers in teaching and arts administration, Rev Huston was ordained as a UU minister and served congregations in Rochester, Michigan, and White Plains, New York. She currently lives in Manhattan and is active in a variety of organizations related to women’s issues, poverty, and health. Her late husband Hollis also followed a call to the clergy, working as a hospice chaplain and preaching in several UU congregations. He died last summer after a brave struggle with cancer.

For more information about the UUFSMA, including our children’s religious education program, social action outreach, weekly discussion groups, social activities, and Care Team. Join us any Sunday at 10:30am at the Hotel La Aldea, or check out our website at


UU Service

“Women’s Day in the Age of #MeToo”

Rev Carol Huston

Sun, Mar 10, 10:30am

Hotel La Aldea

Ancha de San Antonio 15


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