Why the Color Purple? - Tokyo College

Why the Color Purple?

Eureka FOONG

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You might be asking: why use the color purple to highlight IWD events, instead of pink or red, which have had more mainstream associations with women in recent years? This International Women’s Day, we stand in solidarity with organizations around the world who use purple to represent this historic day. Purple - a symbol of justice and dignity - was just one of the colors used by the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), one of Britain’s largest and most vocal suffrage groups who campaigned for women’s legal right to vote in the early 1900s. Green, symbolizing hope, and white, symbolizing purity, were also colors used by this early movement, which laid the groundwork for International Women’s Day.

We also chose purple in our poster, in place of the typical “pink-blue” scheme used to represent women and men in data visualizations and product marketing, to counter stereotypes that associate only women with pink (or only men with blue). Whatever color the we use, we hope you will join us in celebrating women’s achievements and raising awareness of gender equality today and the rest of the year.


Further Reading:

  1. “International Women’s Day” by International Women’s Development Agency (2021) https://iwda.org.au/take-action/international-womens-day/
  2. “An alternative to pink & blue: Colors for gender data” by Lisa Charlotte Ross (2018) https://blog.datawrapper.de/gendercolor/
  3. “The Many “Official” Colors of the Suffrage Movement” by the New-York Historical Society Museum and Library (2020) https://womenatthecenter.nyhistory.org/the-many-official-colors-of-the-suffrage-movement/
  4. “Start of the suffragette movement” by the UK Parliament https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/electionsvoting/womenvote/overview/startsuffragette-/

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