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Feb 282012

The InternationalWomen’ website has added yet another corporate sponsor, EON. If you are perhaps baffled about why a website that has usurped the name of the most significant global celebration of women’s lives and rights of the year has corporate sponsors, Glenda Stone who started the website and runs it without input from women’s rights organizations explains,

Without their support, the website could not survive. Each Supporting Partner has a firm track record in supporting women’s equality and advancement. We like to celebrate International Women’s Day, but we also want to celebrate our Supporting Partners! We urge you to acknowledge them whenever you can.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but one of the central screaming reasons that IWD is so necessary is the continued corporate exploitation of women.  Women’s rights organizations throughout the world run websites and do their work without corporate cause-branding but Ms. Stone runs her site by allowing placement of ads such as this which clearly serve the interest of the corporation, not women:

As we have pointed out numerous times before, this website is primarily an opportunity for the corporate cause branding of International Women’s Day.  In sharp contrast, take a look at the sponsorship page for the Meet Me On The Street Anti-Street Harassment Week Campaign.  There are too many sponsors to capture in one screenshot, but here are a few of the many non-corporate woman-positive  sponsors:

Full disclousre–FPN is also a co-sponsor of the Meet Me On The Street Campaign, which proves most righteously that it is possible to run a successful campaign and website without selling out to corporate interests as does.  Once again, the Feminist Peace Network calls on Ms. Stone and her corporate sponsors to do the right thing and quit using International Women’s Day for callous corporate cause branding. is NOT the official IWD website, there is no such thing and it should be boycotted.

 February 28, 2012  Posted by on February 28, 2012 2 Responses »
Jan 252010

We have a bit of a victory in the protest of Thomson Reuters and Aurora’s reference to as the official IWD site.  The word ‘official’ is no longer in their metatags.  However the response I received this morning from Julia Fuller who is their Global Head of Corporate Responsibility still leaves quite a lot to be desired. Her letter and my response follow below.

I have no idea how many of you answered my original call to write to Aurora and Thomson Fuller regarding this usurpation of IWD for commercial gain, but apparently enough so that they are listening.  Please please keep those letters up (Please write to here and to Reuters here)–they are listening!  In the meantime, we continue to call for a boycott of the site.

Dear Ms Marshall

Thank you for your emails.   We have now looked into this matter.

The IWD website refers to Thomson Reuters as Global Partner and the website states: “The International Women’s Day website provides a free service to women around the world wanting to share and promote their IWD activity, videos, opinions and ideas. Please feel free to submit gender-related items for the site that you consider relevant and useful.” The word “official” is not used at any point on the website although it did appear in a piece of background html code.   This word has now been removed from that background code.

It is clear that the IWD site does not purport to be “official”, but merely to act as a forum for individuals and organisations around the world to share and promote IWD activity, opinions and ideas. Thomson Reuters is wholly committed to equality in the workplace, transparency and accuracy and is proud to be working with Aurora and other individuals and organisations around the world to develop talent, encourage workplace diversity and to actively support organisations that share our commitment to these values.    Thomson Reuters involvement with the IWD site extends to the provision of news feeds which contain gender relevant content around a number of themes including science and innovation, justice, health and business and finance.  Hence our partnership is more refined than simply posting irrelevant Reuters news stories onto the site.

Please note, that Glenda Stone is not an employee or contractor at Reuters, but guest blogs on, where it clearly states that her opinions are her own and not those of the company

To read more about our ongoing commitment to equality and diversity, please see:



Julia Fuller
Global Head of Corporate Responsibility
Thomson Reuters

And my response:

Dear Ms. Fuller,

I appreciate your prompt reply and that the word ‘official’ is no longer part of your code.  However, your code still includes the following meta tag:

<meta name=”DESCRIPTION” content=”The International Women’s Day website”/> is not The site, there simply is no such thing and it is an affront to usurp that  title from the thousands of women  that work on IWD awareness throughout the world.  The word ‘the’ should also be removed from your tags.

As to your assertion that, ” Thomson Reuters involvement with the IWD site extends to the provision of news feeds which contain gender relevant content around a number of themes including science and innovation, justice, health and business and finance.  Hence our partnership is more refined than simply posting irrelevant Reuters news stories onto the site.”– I would disagree.  Fully half of the tabs at the top of the page are to Reuters content. Here are some of the stories linked to on your business page.  I have no idea what these have to do with International Women’s Day or why these are considered gender-relevant:

Stock futures rebound after sharp 3-day selloff <;feedName=businessNews&amp;rpc=6>
Mon, 25 Jan 2010 07:16:49 -0500
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures pointed to a 1 percent rise on Monday after the worst 3-day slide in 10 months, which came on fears that the White House plan to curb bank risk-taking would cut profits.

Wal-Mart cuts 11,200 jobs at Sam’s Club <;feedName=businessNews&amp;rpc=6>
Mon, 25 Jan 2010 06:43:59 -0500
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Sam’s Club, the warehouse club division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc is cutting roughly 11,200 jobs, or about 10 percent of its workforce, as it outsources in-store product demonstrations and eliminates positions used to recruit new business members.

China steps up defense of Internet controls <;feedName=businessNews&amp;rpc=6>
Mon, 25 Jan 2010 07:05:35 -0500
BEIJING (Reuters) – China widened its attack against U.S. criticisms of Internet censorship on Monday, raising the stakes in a dispute that has put Google in the middle of a political quarrel between the two global powers.

Italy’s Ferrero rules out bidding for Cadbury <;feedName=businessNews&amp;rpc=6>
Mon, 25 Jan 2010 03:30:08 -0500
LONDON (Reuters) – Italy’s Ferrero has ruled out a rival bid for Cadbury Plc, clearing the way for Kraft Foods to complete its 11.7 billion-pound ($18.9 billion) proposed takeover of the British confectioner.

Tishman venture abandons Stuyvesant complex: report <;feedName=businessNews&amp;rpc=6>
Mon, 25 Jan 2010 04:09:40 -0500
(Reuters) – A group led by Tishman Speyer Properties has decided to give up the sprawling Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town apartment complex in Manhattan to its creditors in the collapse of one of the most high-profile deals of the real-estate boom, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

AIG restricts use of corporate aircraft <;feedName=businessNews&amp;rpc=6>
Mon, 25 Jan 2010 07:00:19 -0500
(Reuters) – American International Group Inc said it has restricted the personal use of corporate aircraft by its executives, other than its chief executive.

Obama plan could hurt U.S. banks: Swiss banker <;feedName=businessNews&amp;rpc=6>
Mon, 25 Jan 2010 02:02:19 -0500
ZURICH (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s proposals to split traditional banking activities from riskier areas will harm U.S. banks without international co-ordination, a prominent Swiss banker said in Monday’s Financial Times.

Shell CEO says to scale back on oil sands: report <;feedName=businessNews&amp;rpc=6>
Mon, 25 Jan 2010 03:47:31 -0500
LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is slowing its expansion into high-cost Canadian tar sands and will in future focus on exploration, rather than expensive, capital-intensive projects, Chief Executive Peter Voser said in Monday’s edition of the Financial Times.

China economist sees 2010 GDP up 9.5 percent <;feedName=businessNews&amp;rpc=6>
Sun, 24 Jan 2010 21:11:03 -0500
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s gross domestic product growth is likely to grow about 9.5 percent in 2010, largely driven by strong domestic consumption and corporate investment, a government researcher said in remarks published on Monday.

Oil steadies below $75, close to one-month low <;feedName=businessNews&amp;rpc=6>
Mon, 25 Jan 2010 06:24:45 -0500
LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices steadied below $75 a barrel on Monday, after slipping toward a one-month low on continued market unease over possible tighter Chinese monetary policy and a U.S. proposal to toughen bank trading rules.

The other pages of links are equally irrelevant to IWD.  On your page about jobs, there is no source information, just data that is irrelevant if people don’t know where it came from.  There are a number of excellent sources for news stories that are relevant to IWD and women’s human rights.  The Feminist Peace Network blog references this sort of story on a regular basis and I would be happy to help you build a database of relevant news sources.

Finally, I am wondering if you consulted with any of the major women’s organizations that work with global women’s human rights organizations before you organized this page.  While developing talent and workplace diversity are important, they are only a part of what IWD is about and for a website like this to truly work there should certainly be some sort of advisory board that reflects non-commercial interests within the global women’s advocacy community.  I see no evidence of that here.

I hope that you will give this matter the further consideration it deserves.


Lucinda Marshall, Director
Feminist Peace Network

There you have it–please keep writing to them.  IWD is our day and this sort of cause-branding is reprehensible and unacceptable and it needs to stop.  If you do write, please send a copy to

 January 25, 2010  Posted by on January 25, 2010 Comments Off on Thomson Reuters Still Doesn’t Get It–The Boycott Continues
Jan 212010

Yesterday I published a post objecting to billing itself as “The” IWD website. My objections are that there is no such thing as one official site and secondly the blatant attempt at corporate branding is totally unacceptable.

This morning I engaged in a back and forth on Twitter with @Reuters_Women. According to, that  is the, “IWD Reuters_Women Twitter feed proudly provided by Thomson Reuters”  If you look up the Reuters_Women profile on Twitter, it says that it is maintained by Julie Mollins who apparently is an online editor at Thomson Reuters.

Here is our dialog, which speaks for itself (note–start with number 9 and read up, it is the way Twitter displays tweets).

  1. Zetkin_normal Reuters_Women @Fempeace Thanks. I appreciate your feedback and opinions. Good luck with your #iwd efforts. about 3 hours ago from HootSuite

  2. She_for_twitter_normal Fempeace @Reuters_Women pls also delete from yr site metatags. Also yr Twittername implies Reuters sponsors IWD, not cool. about 3 hours ago from web

  3. Zetkin_normal Reuters_Women @Fempeace Ah. OK. I take your point. I have deleted “the” from the Twitter bio. about 4 hours ago from HootSuite

  4. She_for_twitter_normal Fempeace @Reuters_Women metatags no longer say ‘official’ but you still call yrself ‘the’ #iwd site–there are many iwd sites, there is no ‘the’ site about 4 hours ago from web

  5. She_for_twitter_normal Fempeace Yr @Reuters_Women implies that @ThomsonReuters cause-branding #IWD as well #feminist #fem2 about 4 hours ago from web

  6. She_for_twitter_normal Fempeace @Reuters_Women yes you do call it official in your metatags. Corporate cause branding of #IWD is unacceptable. #feminist #fem2 about 4 hours ago from web

  7. Zetkin_normal Reuters_Women @Fempeace Hi there. We don’t call it “official”. about 5 hours ago from HootSuite

  8. She_for_twitter_normal Fempeace @Reuters_Women isnt “Official” IWD site, pls quit calling yrself that. #iwd about 5 hours ago from web

  9. She_for_twitter_normal Fempeace @Reuters_Women isnt “Official” IWD site, pls quit calling yrself that. #fem2 #feminist about 5 hours ago from web

Satisfactory?  Not hardly.  The website metatags still refers to “The International Women’s Day website”, which has profound implications on search engines, such as Google:

meta name=”DESCRIPTION” content=”The International Women’s Day website”

More insidiously, I went back to look more thoroughly at the International Women’s Day website itself. At the top there are tabs to pages not only about International Women’s Day but also Jobs (which without attribution as to source provides a list of jobs in “progressive organisations” and “progressive organisations” (actually they are not organizations, they are corporations) that support women’s advancement (again without saying how they came up with this list), Business & Finance, Science & Technology, Justice and Health (the latter categories lead to pages of Reuters news links.  Huh?  Why exactly are these on “The” International Women’s Day website??

At that point I decided to do a little looksee at Thomson Reuters.  I mean I know Reuters is  a news agency, but  I had not been aware that it was part of a larger conglomerate.  But sure enough…in addition to media, the company also has financial, healthcare, legal, science, and tax and accounting interests.  Which certainly should make us question the bias in any Reuters ‘news’ story.  But that is another subject.  What is clear here  is that Thomson Reuters and Aurora (read here for a fun critique of Aurora’s Glenda Stone) are cause-branding International Women’s Day and that is unacceptable.  Imagine if a corporation did that with Martin Luther King Day!

The Feminist Peace Network continues to call for Thomson Reuters and Aurora to cease calling “The” International Women’s Day website in their metatags and to immediately remove the pages that link to business concerns and Reuters news stories that are entirely irrelevant to IWD.  In the meantime, we call for a boycott of the site and ask that you not use the logo that they provide, it has not been chosen by anyone but themselves.

Please write to here and to Reuters here.

To learn more about International Women’s Day itself and the many organizations that work to make it happen (without commerical interest), Feminist Peace Network has a resource page here.

 January 21, 2010  Posted by on January 21, 2010 1 Response »
Jan 202010

As women around the world prepare to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8th, the Feminist Peace Network would once again like to express its concern regarding a website called which falsely bills itself as the official International Women’s Day website.

The website is run by a woman named Glenda Stone who is the, ” chief executive and founder of Aurora, a recruitment advertising and market intelligence company.”  She also writes a blog for Reuters.  Thomson Reuters is listed as a “global partner” on Stone’s website.

While all efforts to publicize and promote IWD are always welcome, it is essential to understand that there is no one sponsor of the day’s events, planning is done by individual women and organizations in countries throughout the world.  For Ms. Stone’s  company, Aurora and particularly for Thomson Reuters, a news concern to have the effrontery to use this as an opportunity for cause branding with no authority but their own is unacceptable.   While Ms. Stone’s work to promote IWD is welcome, The Feminist Peace Network calls on her to immediately quit calling her website the official website for International Women’s Day and for Thomson Reuters to quit supporting this false claim.

Please write to here and to Reuters here.

To learn more about International Women’s Day itself and the many organizations that work to make it happen, Feminist Peace Network has a resource page here.

 January 20, 2010  Posted by on January 20, 2010 1 Response »
Aug 092012

Yesterday put out a call on Facebook asking for suggestions for the 2013 theme for International Women’s Day.  The unmitigated gall of the people who run this site never ceases to amaze me.  This is a commercially run site that represents no one but itself.  Here is screenshot of the call:

A United Nations theme is also supported?  Who on earth gave these people the right to suggest that a corporate run site has a higher authority to pick a theme.  International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women’s achievements and rededicate ourselves to fighting for women’s rights, not a day for corporate cause branding.  I’ve written about this now more times than I can count, this is just the latest offense.  It is time to tell the people who run this site and their corporate sponsors to sod off and quit acting like they own International Women’s Day.

 August 9, 2012  Posted by on August 9, 2012 Comments Off on Corporate Run International Women’s Day Site Presumes Right To Pick Theme For IWD 2013