New Delhi, Mar 8: International Women’s Day is being celebrated today, March 8 across the world. As the name suggests, the day is dedicated to womanhood and its contribution to the society. The United Nations celebrates the day on the basis of different themes every year. This time, the theme is #PressForProgress.

The day is marked with talks, performances, rallies, marches and various similar events.

The theme #PressForProgress holds significance in the wake of the World Economic Forums’ Global Gender Gap Report according to which it will take 217 years to close the gender parity gap. (ALSO READ: On International Women’s Day, Meet The Woman Who Inspired PM Modi)

It is being argued, “We can’t be complacent. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity.”

#PressForProgress calls for motivation and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres has been quoted on the UN’s official website as saying, “Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.”

The theme for International Women’s Day, decided by the UN in 2012, was  ‘Empower Rural Women — End Hunger and Poverty’. In 2016, the theme of ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality’ and in 2017, it was ‘Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030’.


Origin of Women’s Day

The Women’s Day was first observed in New York on February 28, 1909. It was organised by the Socialist Party of America.

A year later, Socialist representatives at the International Women’s Conference in Copenhagen proposed that there be an International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. However, two days later it was proposed that the day be celebrated on March 8.