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Why exactly International Women Day is celebrated?

Student March in Barcelona on the eve of International Women Day – image courtesy CNN.

The idea of International Women Day was first tabled in 1910 by a woman called Clara Zetkin. She’s the leader of the women’s office for the Socialist Democratic Party in Germany. She opined that each and every country should celebrate women day once a year to push for their demands.

A conference attended by the women from about 17 countries agreed to her views and resulted in the celebration of IWD in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on March 19. The year of celebration was 1911. Later on, it was decided to transfer IWD to March 8; the day is celebrated on that day ever since.

Members of the women’s movement in Russia during World War I celebrated the first International Women’s Day on March 8, 1913, to peacefully protest the war. 

Countries around the globe celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. The day not only recognizes the achievements of women, but also brings awareness to the obstacles to which the women are confronted by.

Women across the world remind the world on Women International Day about gender-based discrimination as well as achievements made by women.

The day was first celebrated in the US in 1909 on February 28 year after the observance of National Women’s Day in New York City. The celebration was in accordance with the declaration by the Socialist Party of America.

This year’s theme for International Women Day is #eachforequal. The United Nations is focusing this year on gender equality and human rights for all women and girls. The theme of the commemoration is: “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.”

United Nations recognized the WID in 1975; the organization creates a theme for celebrating the day ever since. Former President of the United States proclaimed March to be the Women’s History Month during his presidency.

According to the World Economic Forum, the gender gap won’t close until 2186. Another report by WEF says that it could take another 100 years before the global equality gap between men and women disappears completely.

Last year, from November till the end of the year 2019 women worked for free in protest for the gender pay gap. Even at some major companies in Britain, women are paid less than half to that of men.

Women’s Day celebrations demand the change in the attitude, it’s not about changing the regional cultures on which a society survives. The day reminds us of the much-needed equality and equal share of women in education, politics, assets, and employment opportunities.

It’s about breaking the stereotypes that entangle the social harmony invoking many to adopt prejudices in understanding the privilege of being a woman.

About Noshin Bashir

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