“Who run the world? Girls”. Beyoncé was certainly a visionary when she came out with this song back in 2011. Celebrating girls and women as she did, and as many others do through different mediums of art, be it music, films, poetry, etc, International Women’s Day recognised by United Nations is a day that not only celebrates women on a global and systemic level but also brings the centuries-long women’s issues and rights into the limelight; making sure that everyone is reminded of the simple fact: ‘there’s still work to be done’.
On the occasion of International Women’s day, on March 08, this blog is here to talk about the importance of the day, starting yet another conversation on women’s role in the world, by including the 2023 theme of International Women’s Day.
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A Glimpse Back to the Beginning
Having grown out of the labour movement in the United States, International Women’s Day can see its seeds planted in the early 1900s, when women in the number of 15,000 marched through the streets of New York City with a demand for better pay, short working hours, and voting rights. The Socialist Party soon came up with a National Women’s Day.
The idea of making this day International Women’s Day came from Clara Zetkin, a woman who was a communist activist and an advocate for women’s rights. She proposed this in 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. A unanimous agreement was reached on the decision.
Therefore, the day was first celebrated in 1911, in countries: Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Jumping to the future in 1975, the United Nations made things official, celebrating International Women’s Day on March 08 every day.
Some of the initial key years that contribute to the establishment of this day in tabulated below.
|1848||Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott hold the USA’s first women’s rights convention.|
|1910||In Europe, The Socialist International established a Women’s Day in support of global suffrage for women.|
|1913||As a mechanism to protest World War I and a part of the peace movement, Russian women celebrated the day on the last Sunday of February.|
|1915||More than a thousand women from over 12 countries gather in the Hague in The Netherlands.|
|1917||The right to vote for women in Russia come to fruition, after women protest for “Bread and Peace” on 8 March, according to the Gregorian calendar.|
Also Read: World Civil Defence Day
Why March 8?
As mentioned above, the women chose to strike for “bread and peace” during wartime. The Czar was ultimately forced to provide women with the right to vote. According to the then-used calendar, which was the Julian calendar, the women started their strike on February 23. But after the revolution, Russia too adopted the Gregorian calendar which said the day fell on March 08 – the calender which is now followed in a majority of countries and the day which is officially recognised as International Women’s Day.
International Women’s Day 2023 Theme
The United Nations has adopted the below-highlighted theme on International Women’s Day in 2023.
“DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.”
This is to highlight the work and contribution of women to the digital space, online education and technology. Recognition for women is being provided on International Women’s Day. At the same time, the UN plans to tackle issues of digital gender disparity and inequality for girls and women, given the estimation that the lack of access to digital areas for women can cause more than a trillion dollars in loss to low and middle-income countries by 2025.
Moreover, a call to the people in power all over the world, especially governments, the private sector and activists, to use their resources to make the digital space a better and more safe place for women – is being made on this occasion of International Women’s Day. This is because online harassment/violence is as much valid as offline violence against women. The digital world should be made more inclusive and more equitable, focusing on the sake of women.
Also Read: World NGO Day
Importance of International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is important because the levels of gender disparity in this world continue to affect the lives of women. Moreover, the day helps celebrate the lives of ordinary women who have made an extraordinary contribution to women’s history and to their respective communities.
Furthermore, International Women’s Day continue to be of importance because of the below-mentioned harsh realities of women.
- 1 in 3 women faces gender-based violence.
- 2.7 billion women are unable to access the same jobs as men because of legal restrictions.
- In politically disruptive areas, women are stripped of basic human rights such as the right to basic education.
- The UN has also reported the gender gaps in food insecurity, poverty and an increase in gender-based violence in war struck Ukraine.
Given the aforementioned facts and more, the importance of International Women’s Day that contributes to the work required for women continues to stand tall in relevance.
How is International Women’s Day Celebrated in the World?
Different countries celebrate International Women’s Day in different manners.
For example, International Women’s Day is even a national holiday in several countries including Russia.
In China, women receive a half-day off from work.
In the United States of America, March is considered Women’s History Month. A presential proclamation honours the achievements of women of America.
Mimosa blossoms are offered on this day in Italy on International Women’s Day.
Also Read: World Thinking Day
In Focus: Little-Known Women in History
Know about women whose names you might have missed out on below.
Ans. International Women’s Day is important because the day calls for change while celebrating the acts of courage and contributions made by ordinary women.
Ans. International Women’s day is celebrated on March 8 of every year.
Ans. The colours of international women’s day are purple, white, and green.
This was all about International Women’s Day. For more such interesting blogs, stay tuned to Wings by Leverage Edu.