Google logo, maps mark International Women's Day

WASHINGTON, March  8, 2011 (AFP) - Google marked International Women's Day Tuesday by dedicating its logo to the 100th anniversary of the celebration of women's achievements and by giving Google Maps' icon Pegman a female sidekick -- Pegwoman.

The colorful logo, known as a doodle, on the Google home page features a woman graduate and doctor in place of the last two letters of Google.

Clicking on the image takes users to the site of the "Join Me on the Bridge" campaign, which calls for men and women to meet on bridges in their communities to recognize a century of women's achievements.

Google teamed up late last month with Women for Women International, organizers of "Join Me on the Bridge," to help publicize the event.

Since then, "almost 300 bridge events in more than 50 countries have been added to the map," Claire Hughes Johnson, chair of the Google Women's Professional Community and vice president of global online sales, said in a blog post.

"I've found it inspiring to watch all of those little red pins pop up, knowing that each of them represents a group of women and their supporters coming together to let the world know how far we've come," she said.

Johnson also noted that Pegman, the icon that guides users around Google's Street View, has "a new friend" to mark International Women's Day.

"He invited his colleague Pegwoman to join him on the map today," Johnson wrote.

When the male icon from the zoom tool is dragged onto a Google map, it turns into a dress-clad female icon in honor of International Women's Day, created 100 years ago, when just two countries allowed women to vote, to celebrate women's achievements and advocate for equal rights.