International Women’s Day is a global event that celebrates the achievements of women from different sectors be it social, political, economic or entertainment. At the same time, promoting gender equality across the world. It started in the early 1900s and is now marked on March 8 of every year. It is not associated with a particular group but brings together all the women from different organizations such as government, corporate, charity, etc. There are numerous events that take place in various nations to recognize this day like rallies, debates, or cultural performances.
With the recent wave of movements that support women’s equality such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, we can be assured of a powerful and inspiring theme this year too. Here is a sneak peek at the important details that everyone should know about International Women’s Day. Have a read:
History and origin
It might be difficult to trace the exact roots of Women’s Day. In 1908, approximately 15000 women marched through the city of New York. Their major demand was gender equality be it in voting rights, remuneration, and working hours. After one year, the first ever National Women’s Day was celebrated on February 28 in the United States as agreed with and declared by Socialist Party of America. In 1910, Clara Zetkin, leader of Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany put forward the idea of an International Women's Day at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. She suggested that every country in the world should dedicate one day every year to women so as to promote equality. Her proposal received unanimous agreement from over one hundred women who were representing seventeen countries. Thus, International Women's Day was started. And the next year, it was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on March 19.
This year’s theme puts in spotlight gender inclusivity and new gender parity initiatives, and hence aptly called #PressforProgress. It highlights the global movement of advocacy, activism and gender equality. As per the Global Gender Gap Report of World Economic Forum's 2017, we are still over 200 years away from this parity. So, it’s high time to be vocal about it and fight for it to keep everyone striving for it motivated.
IWD website says “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.”
The official color of International Women’s Day is Purple. It is also the color of its logo as it represents power, ambition, and dignity. This color is also associated with the feminist movement of Women’s Social and Political Union in the UK in 1908. So try to wear a purple dress, shirt, or ribbon to show your support.
How to get involved?
You can find number of events ranging from exhibitions to festivals that will be organized across Australia. You can also join digital gatherings to be a part of different activities. For more information, you can visit the official website of International Women’s Day and go through the event page to see the complete list. But, whatever you do make sure that you are a part of this day and take a pledge for parity. If you have enough resources, then you can host your own event to conduct debates and discussion on various topics.
On the eve of campaigning for peace during World War I, Russian women celebrated their first International Women's Day,
i.e., the last Sunday of February 1913.
In 1965, this date was declared as a non-working day in the USSR.
In the same year, International Women's Day was shifted to March 8, and ever since then, it has remained the global date for the event.
In 1975, the United Nations began sponsoring International Women's Day by giving it a first official sanction.
IWD is declared as an official holiday in 15 countries such as China, Ukraine, and Vietnam.
So this year, irrespective of your gender step out and raise your voice against the disparity between man and woman. Be a part of discussions, events, art performances, and show your support. It may take time to bring change, but our continuous efforts will surely make this happen.
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