Happy International Women's Day 2012 from Facebook

Facebook is celebrating International Women's Day 2012 with a visualization mapping all the friend connections between women across the globe on its service. How are you marking the occasion?
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

March 8 (today) is International Women's Day. It is a day for men to express their respect and love for women (think Mother's Day plus Valentine's Day) as well as one for all to reflect on the struggles of women worldwide.

The United Nations theme for International Women's Day 2012 is "Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty." The International Committee of the Red Cross this year is calling for more action to help the mothers and wives of people who have gone missing during armed conflict.

Facebook today uploaded the above photo to its service with the following caption:

Happy International Women's Day! To celebrate, the Data Science team created a visualization mapping all the friend connections between women across the globe on Facebook.

This morning I wished my mother and my girlfriend all the best in Polish. Of course, this was after I was asked last night if I knew what tomorrow was. I answered I did not. Clearly I need to keep track of this day better.

Facebook's post today makes me wonder: should the social networking giant add important dates to its service, aside from birthdays? It wouldn't be very difficult to alert men around the world of International Women's Day.

Furthermore, Facebook has a lot of data about where you're from and where you're currently located. It also would not be hard for the social network to prompt you about other holidays. I can't think of any downsides to this, although I guess some users may find the reminders on the service annoying. Still, given how much time Facebook users spend on the site, I think this could help more than it would harm.

Update at 2:00 PM PST: Facebook also uploaded a video, which I've embedded for you below. Here's the caption: "In honor of International Women's Day, Facebook created a video to encourage more girls to study computer science. As part of the the National Center for Women and Information Technology's Sit With Me campaign, we asked people at Facebook to share their stories and why they believe there should be more women in tech."

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