Why do we Celebrate Women’s Day ?
International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
The earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York; it was organized by the Socialist Party of America in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union.There was no specific strike happening on March 8, despite later claims.
The messages given at these events often focus on various themes such as innovation, the portrayal of women in the media, or the importance of education and career opportunities.
Many students in schools and other educational settings participate in special lessons, debates or presentations about the importance of women in society, their influence, and issues that affect them. In some countries school children bring gifts to their female teachers and women receive small presents from friends or family members. Many workplaces make a special mention about International Women’s Day through internal newsletters or notices, or by handing out promotional material focusing on the day.
Gandhiji said, ‘Intellectually, mentally, and spiritually, woman is equivalent to a male and she can participate in every activity.”
From Sita in Ramayana to Kannagi in Silapathikaram to Rani Jhansi are not only celebrated women but also their contribution to social change and awareness had been immense. Even Ramakrishna parmahamsar is said to have worshipped his wife.
Gender is western concept. India is the original home of the Mother Goddess. women in India have always been honored and respected.
Article 14 of the constitution accords equality for both genders.
In the International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen in 9110, leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany- Clara Zetkin floated the idea of an International Women’s Day. Zetkin’s suggestion with received unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was born.
International Women’s Day was celebrated the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended the rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.
In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen’s Day ever since. In the same year, it further spread to other European countries.
Meanwhile in Russia women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. This historic day was March 8 as per the gregorian calender.
International Women’s Day, is a public holiday in some countries such as :
The International Women’s Day logo is in purple and white and features the symbol of Venus, which is also the symbol of being female. The faces of women of all backgrounds, ages, and nations are also seen in various promotions, such as posters, postcards and information booklets, on International Women’s Day. Various messages and slogans that promote the day are also publicized during this time of the year.
Why do we still celebrate it?
The original aim of the day – to achieve full gender equality for women the world – has still not been realised. A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Figures show that globally, women’s education, health and violence is still worse than that of men.
What’s this year’s theme?
The 2016 theme is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. The idea is to accelerate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which was formally adopted by world leaders at a 2015 UN summit. It focuses on reducing poverty, huger, disease and gender equality.
On Saturday March 5, around 10,000 women marched in London as part of the ninth annual Million Women Rise march. It takes place on the weekend before IWD every year, and brings together thousands of women marching to end male violence against women.
On Sunday March 6, women marched in London as part of Care International’s Walk In Her Shoes. Annie Lennox, Bianca Jagger and Dr Helen Pankhurst led the event that celebrated women’s achievement across the globe.