International Women’s day which is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace is just around the corner and every year it is celebrated on March 8. The whole month of March and this particular day celebrates the womanhood and contribution of women to the society and it also commemorates women’s rights. “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem.
The day is also celebrated to promote gender parity and women’s achievements right from social to political. We celebrate the day to remember the inequality all women faced in past and how it still remains in many cultures and also the day is observed to raise awareness about women issues and her struggles. On this day we express our love and gratitude to the women who make difference in our lives.
The aim of the celebration of the day was to get equal rights and pay and the same is an issue today as well. Women still earn less than men. And the recent #MeToo campaign gave the ideal momentum to the movement as now women are opening about sexual harassment.The women who spoke out are known as The Silence Breakers and they were also named as Time’s Person of the Year. Women celebrate the day by conducting parties and dinners. The day is mostly marked with art events, talks, rallies and conferences.
History and Origin of the day
The first national women’s day was held in New York in 1909 on February 28 and it was organized by the Socialist Party of America. They designated this day in honor of the garment workers’ strike. A year later during the International Women’s day conference in Copenhagen, Socialist representatives suggested observing of International Women’s Day. The date was not finalized during the conference but they agreed to celebrate every year to promote equal rights for women and women’s suffrage.
In 1911, as a result of the Copenhagen initiative, International Women’s Day was marked for the first time on 19 March in several nations like Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland and more than one million women and men attended rallies. In 1913 finally, March 8 was finally selected and ever since this day is celebrated as IWD. In the year 1975, United Nations started celebrating the day.
- In 1945, first, ever agreement for equal rights between women and men was signed. UN played a major role in changing the legacy and giving new status to women. United Nations every year come up with themes for celebrating Women’s Day Every year they take efforts to promote and raise awareness about gender parity.
- In Italy, women are given yellow mimosas by men.
- The day is celebrated by distributing gifts and flowers to women in countries like Hungary, Poland, Latvia and Colombia among others.
- The theme of the year by UN is: Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives
- On this day people wear the purple ribbon as they symbolize justice and dignity.
- The USA designates whole month of March as Women’s History Month.
- The day is an official holiday in fifteen countries including China, Ukraine and Vietnam.
This year the theme of the day is #PressforProgress. The website reads: “We can’t be complacent. Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity.”A strong call to #PressforProgress. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.”We at India.com, wish you all a very Happy Women’s Day.