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Google Doodle highlights history of International Women's Day

The multilayered 3D mandala spotlights different eras in the women's rights movement.

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Sunday's Google Doodle honors the history of the women's rights movement.

Google

Sunday is International Women's Day, the annual celebration of the achievements made by women around the world. This year's theme is Let's all be #EachforEqual, encouraging collective cooperation to create a gender-equal world.

To celebrate women coming together from around the world and across generations, Google has dedicated its Doodle on Sunday to the fight for women's rights. The Doodle is linked to a multilayered 3D paper mandala animation that represents the history of the celebration, as well as its significance for generations of women.

The hand-folded mandala features 35 characters and three background layers, each of which represents a different era in the fight for women's rights.

The black-and-white central layer depicts women around the world amid labor movements during the late 1800s to 1930s. The second layer focuses on pushes for gender equality and rapid changes in status quo from the 1950s to 1980s.

The final layer represents the 1990s to now, showing the progress made by women's right movements during the past century. It pays tribute to those who rose up to reject former cultural and gender roles as women continue to question and redefine women's roles in society.

But the job isn't finished, and women should continue to advance the movement, Google said.

"As today's women stand on the shoulders of those who have fought and made sacrifices in the generations past, they likewise carry the legacy of the movement forward," Google said in a blog post.

Frustrated by the oppression and inequality they'd long suffered, women became more vocal at the beginning of the 20th century in campaigning for change. In 1908, a group of women marched through New York City's streets to demand better pay, shorter working hours and voting rights.

The first Women's Day was observed across the US the next year in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. The holiday is now celebrated every March 8 in dozens of countries around the world.

Silicon Valley has struggled with the issue of gender equality and diversity. Women make up just 30% of the workforce in Silicon Valley, according to the Kapor Center, and girls also face several obstacles in pursuing STEM education.

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A behind-the-scenes look at how the 35 characters in the Doodle were created.

Google

The Doodle was a collaboration of two female artist duos: Zurich-based guest animators Marion Willam and Daphne Abderhalden from the Drastik creative agency and Oslo- and London-based guest artists Julie Wilkinson and Joyanne Horscroft from Makerie Studio. They say their work was inspired by the movement's history.

"We drew a lot of inspiration from the history of International Women's Day and its humble roots, showing how the movement has grown exponentially over the years," Wilkinson and Horscrof told Google. "We loved the idea of visually representing the number of women involved in each stage, from the Suffragettes to women today, and portraying how their freedoms gradually expanding as the movement has evolved."

Willam and Abderhalden say much thought was put into the creation of each of the 35 characters and their position in the mandala.

"Our biggest takeaway from the artwork is that we were reminded of how women fought and evolved through history so we can live the free life we live today," they said. "Without these women, the world would look much different."

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