International Women’s Day is held annually on 8th March to celebrate women’s rights and achievements across the political, economic, social and cultural spheres throughout the history. Various people and organizations organize a variety of events such as seminars, rallies, pickets, etc. to celebrate this day.
International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries of the world and in some countries, this day is a national holiday.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is International Women’s Day
– History and Origins
2. Reasons for Celebrating International Women’s Day
– Why is International Women’s Day Celebrated
What is International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year in many countries of the world. This is a day that celebrates women’s rights and achievements in various spheres. This is a national holiday in some countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Armenia and Belarus.
The origins of International Women’s Day can be traced back to 1908 when thousands of female garment workers in New York went on strike and marched through the city of New York to protest against their working conditions. In 1909, the US celebrated the first National Women’s Day. The concept of an international women’s day was first suggested by Clara Zetkin, the leader of the ‘women’s office’ of the Social Democratic Party in Germany. Consequently, in 1911 International Women’s Day was celebrated in four countries.
In 1975, United Nations drew global attention to women’s concerns calling for an International Women’s Year. March 8th has been designated as an official United Nations observance since 1975. The main aim of this day is to help nations worldwide to eliminate discrimination against women.
Reasons for Celebrating International Women’s Day
The main reason for celebrating International Women’s Day is honouring women’s rights and achievements across all nations throughout the past. It also originally aimed to achieve full gender equality around the world. It is also “a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities”. Most importantly, International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to reconsider the position of women in the world today. Although International Women’s Day originated with the aim of eliminating discrimination against women, this aim has not been yet achieved.
Women still face many injustices in the society; gender pay gap, lower education levels, violence against women, child marriages, stereotyping, sex trafficking, etc. are some of the major issues faced by women all over the world, including developed countries like UK and US. Most women, women’s institutions, and organizations like UN use International Women’s Day as a platform to fight against these issues. Thus, it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day to honour women’s achievements throughout the history and protect their rights.
1. “International Women’s Day 8 March.” United Nations, Available here.
1. “3198006” (CC0) via Pixabay
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